No, this isn't about that hashtag guy on the bachelorette. But it could be inspired by the manner in which he used it, in regular speech, strange. Now, when you consider how effective it is at cataloging and organizing large data sets into working categories, the value and potential has been clear and seen since it's beginings.
So what's next for the hashtag? It's purpose doesn't need to change necessarily; it's certain the manner in which it's used now wasn't foreseen... because aside from cataloging it's been used as a way to direct emphasis to a piece of content, image or statement, as exemplified by the overreactionary or overpersonal hashtags often seen on Instagram that are unnatributable to other forms of shared content. What I mean to say is:
1. Consumers will continue to mold the use of hashtags and cataloging.
2. Marketers have the opportunity to leverage it's heavy use for innovative marketing tactics.
Today I read about this travel service which uses the hashtag to allow users to choose their travel destinations based on popular tags. Some of the hashtags analysed to determine popular destinations are "#foodporn, #YOLO, #romantic, #shopaholic, and #partyhard." The service then suggests destinations based on trending topics on soial media.
What struck me about this service is the kind of potential data that can be extracted from cataloging hashtags and their related content correctly. Consider #FoodPorn as one example: for restauranteurs or local OnTheGo coupon providers the obvious benefits of having a hashtag catalogue first is fairly significant. The usual pattern of data collection and analyzation is Collect First -> Analyze Later. With instant cataloging you know what the content or data is before you analyze it... #FoodPorn. This is assuming Analytics tools are intelligent enough to scrub unrelated content for a cataloging tag of course.
Can this be used to create value or innovative services? Can it enhance customer service on twitter; one idea, provide predermined hashtags for different categories of customer service needs, perhaps? There is sufficient space for innovative ways to use hastags, primary concern should focus on bringing value to consumers, secondary would be it's use as an insight generating tactic.
I'm hopeful someone makes use of the activity, because for every share on Instagram or Twitter, there a hashtag will follow.