By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook plans on adding hashtags, the use of the pound symbol followed by a word or words, to its site.
It’s hard to believe that the hashtag, in its Twitter use, is less than six years old. It was originally introduced to organize tweets and track trending topics, when Chris Messina tweeted, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”
But hashtag usage has been mangled into something much more annoying. Within the past five and a half years or so, the evolution in use has gone from functional to bordering on the absurd.
The hashtag’s overexposure has even led to a namesake baby, little Hashtag Jameson, born in November of last year, a controversy which sparked debate about the level of integration that the internet and social media have on our lives.
I’ve often seen tweets composed solely of hashtags, (a.k.a ‘hashrash’), or the use of #hashtag, or the use of hashtags on Facebook (in case you didn’t notice, it doesn’t work; in fact, the hashtag becomes as useful as any other symbol on your keyboard outside of Twitter or Instagram).
This last misuse prompted the founding of the Facebook page, “This is not Twitter. Hashtags don’t work here,” as well as multiple Youtube video rants about improper hashtag usage. There is even a Twitter etiquette page on hashtags.org that reminds Twitter users that “Peppering your tweets with too many hashtags is not only defeating the purpose of a hashtag but also very annoying to see. Expect to get unfollowed when you do this.” But some of use still don’t seem to grasp this concept.
I hope I’m not the only one who grimaces a bit with the news of the addition of hashtags to Facebook. Twitter has always been a public broadcast network, and hashtags have only helped the site increase functionality; Facebook, however, has always been a more private and intimate means of social interaction. Hashtags make sense in a news-based context, but putting them on a social networking site can only further commercialize it.
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Hopefully I’m not the only person who always clicks through to Instagram posts that surface on my Facebook newsfeed, and then remembers in disappointment that, oh yeah, you can’t see Instagram profiles on the web. But hallelujah, Instagram has announced it will begin rolling out web-accessible profiles! Since Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year, it is no surprise that the latter will resemble the former.
I don’t know about you, but I sure am excited about this. Thanks to this new feature, I can get a greater dose of my Instagram guilty pleasures, and you can more easily stalk your friends’ photos. Also, powering the online web presence will allow the expansion of Instagram’s audience. Previously, the application was only accessible via smartphone, but now we might be seeing more youngsters on the Instagram scene. And by youngsters, I mean bratty tweens like my 11-year-old sister, who has an iPhone and twice as many followers than I have… Awkward.
Instagram online may also pose a threat to websites such as Webstagram, Statigram, Populagram and all of those other websites whose purpose is to allow online Instagram profile viewing. But as for the actual profiles themselves, the popular ones will see an increase in following since it will now be easier to browse. Let me help you by urging you to follow these entertaining Instagrams that you just cannot miss, whether in the new online format or on your smartphone.
Cuteboys_withcats is exactly eeing photwhat you are thinking. Who doesn’t love sos of good-looking men with their feline furry friends? Join its other 30,000 followers, and you will be treated with cute boys and cats in your feed everyday. What a better way to start the day?
My all-time guilty pleasure, however, happens to be not an Instagram profile, rather a tumblr compiling the best photos from Instagram that displays the sickening wealth of America’s richest kids (Rich Kids of Instagram). The Tumblr keeps tabs on how they live, private jets, flowing Moet and all. Though borderline repulsive, you can’t help but sit there and gawk.
After months of watching all of you post artsy pictures of your meals, outfits, pets and adventures, The Daily Free Press is finally joining in! Our office is excited to start sharing images from our news stories and our newsroom with you, from reporters documenting stories to any number of interesting finds on our decorated office walls.
You can find us at dailyfreepress on Instagram and be sure to check out our Facebook page for our activity. Feel free to tag us in your captions if you take any cool pictures of Boston University or beyond; we want to know what’s going on in different communities and you are our spectrum of different perspectives!
After playing around with filters, it’s safe to say the news just got rosy.
By Frankie Barbato, Spotlight Editor
Since its 2010 inception, over 50 million iPhone owners have downloaded the free photo sharing application, Instagram. The average person can instantly become a professional photographer by transforming photos into artistic masterpieces by using color filters. However, celebrities, as if they do not already have enough pictures taken of them, are joining the Instagram craze as well. The result: wealthy celebrities attempting to look edgy by filtering colors of the picture of their Porsche.