The Use of Hashtags to Boost and Retrieve posts

BUARKI, Hanadi and ALKHATEIB, Bashaer (2016) The Use of Hashtags to Boost and Retrieve posts. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 222 - Knowledge Management.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


The Use of Hashtags to Boost and Retrieve posts

Hashtags are used intensively to convey a message, start a conversation and follow a topic of interest. The aim of this research is to find out why people use hashtags as a medium of information dissemination in events and how they use them. Instagram has been chosen as a social media tool, as most Kuwaiti individuals (research sample) have been described to use it on hourly bases. The research purposes to answer the question of “can hashtags be used as a medium of information dissemination and retrieval in social media apps such as Instagram?” Hashtags were assigned and followed to track any related posts designated to a workshop. The related posts were retrieved and coded to present a complete analytical context analysis of qualitative data, whereas quantitative data was collected from social networks analysis tools. In addition, a quantitative question was included to estimate quantitatively the participants’ engagement of hashtags during the event. Gathered data generated that 74 (46%) had used the workshop’s designated hashtags to share posts during and after the event. The retrieval of the hashtags on Instagram has declined, indicating their use for a certain period/event; Google search engine retrieved the maximum results since it already retrieved any post related to the hashtags searched from any social media tool or app. It was found that a hashtag would be common when it is extensively used with the other associated descriptors and that its use depends on: its popularity, followers of the account posting it and its time survival. It was found that the use of hashtags connects people of same interests and allows them to network into one discussion through social media tools such as Instagram. The research, moreover, summarises the processes and experiences of hard work that social media has made easier, providing around the clock free feedback and exchange of ideas, knowledge and concerns of involvement to promote and organize an event.

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