It's not entirely clear if humans are changing social media or if social media is changing humans. Perhaps a little of both. Hashtags have permeated the way we find information, while Twitter leverages the power of their ability to deliver real-time updates in times of crisis.
The Life & Times of the #Hashtag
Big news! The hashtag, which Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon mocked recently, is coming to Google search. I guess it makes sense, as it is already a part of how we Tweet (#Ionlyspeakinhashtags), tag photos of our food (#nomnomnom) and it's slowly becoming a part of how we Facebook (#yesIusedFacebookasaverb).
In a blog post this week, Google software engineer Zaheed Sabur explained that by using the hashtag in Google Searches, posts from Google+ will appear in results pages. When you search on Google for a hashtag, a set of relevant Google+ posts will appear to the right of regular results. Users will only be able to see posts that have been shared publicly or shared with them, and if clicked, the user will be taken to Google+ where you'll see the full set of relevant posts.
An example of how Google+ posts with hashtags will appear via search results
As we learned for the latest Instagram insights, searching via hashtags is improving the way users find new experiences, so it's only natural that Google should leverage them.
Twitter Alert! Twitter Alert!
Twitter has officially launched Twitter Alerts, designed to "leverage the public, real-time and wide-distribution capabilities of Twitter to enable fast and easy dissemination of vital, time-sensitive information." By enrolling in the Twitter Alert program, members will see a unique Twitter Alerts icon on their Tweet composer. Tapping or clicking on this icon will automatically add “#alert” to the body of your Tweet, transforming it into a Twitter Alert. Alerts will be delivered to an organization's subscribers as a text message or push notification, as well as appear in their timelines.
Particularly relevant for government agencies, relief organizations or really anyone with immediate information to convey, critical tweets can be easily set up by enrolling in the Twitter Alerts program. A handy guide and FAQs are available. So far, participating organizations include the American Red Cross, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as several local and state organizations.
Streamline Social Media Collaboration
Engagor, a social media monitor and engagement tool now offers a built-in Chat function that can enable social media teams to communicate efficiently in real-time. Engagor users can chat in one-on-one conversations or discuss issues with several people in the chat rooms, making it easier for social media teams to collaborate on customer service issues and quickly share information across departments. In a world where information moves faster than ever, getting everyone in the know is challenging.
With Engagor's new built-in chat, community managers, customer service agents and other customer-facing team members can get real-time information so they can effectively respond to customer inquiries with the most up-to-date information.
Image credit: Shutterstock / B Studio