Hashtags are labels that allow users to easily find and follow content related to a specific topic or theme on social media platforms.
Hashtags can become viral when many people use them in their posts, which can cause the hashtag to trend and gain widespread popularity.
Here are the viral hashtags in social media history:
- #IceBucketChallenge: This hashtag was used in 2014 to raise awareness for the ALS Association. This nonprofit organization supports research and advocacy for people with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). People would record themselves dumping ice water over their heads, challenge their friends to do the same, and then donate to the ALS Association.
- #MeToo: This hashtag was used in 2017 to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, particularly in the workplace. Millions of people used the hashtag to share their own experiences and show support for survivors.
- #BlackLivesMatter: This hashtag has been used since 2013 to raise awareness about issues of racial injustice and police brutality and to advocate for Black people’s rights and equality. The hashtag gained widespread popularity in the wake of protests and unrest following the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
- #COVID19: This hashtag has been used since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to discuss the virus, share information about it, and connect with others affected by it.
- #StayHome: This hashtag was used during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage people to stay home and follow social distancing guidelines to slow the virus’s spread.
- #LoveWins: This hashtag was used in 2015 to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.
- #KikiChallenge: This hashtag was used in 2018 to document people attempting the “Kiki Challenge,” which involved dancing to the song “In My Feelings” by Drake and jumping out of a moving vehicle. The challenge became viral on social media but was criticized for promoting dangerous behavior.
- #ALSIceBucketChallenge: This hashtag was used in conjunction with the #IceBucketChallenge to raise awareness for the ALS Association.
- #BringBackOurGirls: This hashtag was used in 2014 to raise awareness about the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The hashtag was used to call for action to rescue the girls and bring them back home.
- #NoMakeupSelfie: This hashtag was used in 2014 to encourage people to post pictures without makeup and donate to cancer charities. The hashtag became popular on social media and raised millions of dollars for cancer research.