A new perspective on Twitter hashtag use: Diffusion of innovation theory



Twitter is a fast growing real-time social media tool. As Twitter evolves, more and more people are partaking in sharing what is happening around the world through various Twitter applications. Hashtag use has become a unique tagging convention to help associate Twitter messages with certain events or contexts. Prefixed by a # symbol with a keyword, a Twitter hashtag serves as a bottom-up user-proposed tagging convention. It also embodies user participation in the process of hashtag innovation, especially as it pertains to information organization tasks. Diffusion of innovation (DoI) is a theory that helps to explain the adoption process of an innovation by modeling its entire life cycle according to the aspects of communications and human information interactions. Hence, diffusion theory offers valuable insights into interface design that supports Twitter hashtag use and access. It also assists in evaluating hashtag life cycles and thus offering information required for decision-making, in regard to hashtag management.