Hashtagging on Instagram: Functions of Hashtags as Employed by #Instagirls Cover Image

Hashtagging on Instagram: Functions of Hashtags as Employed by #Instagirls
Hashtagging on Instagram: Functions of Hashtags as Employed by #Instagirls

Author(s): Dominika Kováčová
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Media studies, Semiology, Communication studies, Computational linguistics
Published by: Komisja Nauk Filologicznych Oddziału Polskiej Akademii Nauk we Wrocławiu
Keywords: hashtags; Instagram; content analysis; functions; micro-celebrity; multimodality

Summary/Abstract: Hastagging, similarly to tagging, has become an inseparable part of online communication and users’ motivation for employing hashtags—especially on the platform of their origin, i.e. Twitter—has attracted the attention of scholars from various fields, including linguistics. In reference to previous studies, this paper aims to expand existing knowledge regarding the role and functions of hashtags by examining Instagram posts, which are, in contrast to tweets, predominantly visual and remain an insufficiently researched area. The analytical data consisting of posts uploaded by three Instafamous personalities, also known as Instagirls, were scanned for the presence of hashtags to determine their frequency and their characteristic traits. The qualitative analysis of posts shows that on Instagram, hashtags are employed to fulfil one of two opposing goals: 1. to serve as a tool for aggregating posts of similar content; 2. to serve as a resource for creative self-expression. Furthermore, since hashtags are often designated as a means of promoting one’s visibility, their role as a self-presentation strategy in the construction of micro-celebrity on Instagram is also discussed.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 129-138
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English