As the wee animated video app baby of Twitter, Vine started out the gate with hashtags. After all, they’re one of Twitter’s proudest inventions, even if Instagram jumped in on the action and services like Facebook, Path, and Flickr are adopting the feature as well. So Vine’s founders knew they were important – but the first iteration of Vine hashtags lacked some of the search and discovery pizzazz that makes them so interesting and functional for Twitter.
Vine just got an additional feature for its hashtag function however: trending hashtags. This means you can now see which hashtags are gaining the most momentum. As co-founder Colin Kroll explained on the Vine blog, “These hashtags signify those that have moved up quickly in popularity; they aren’t necessarily the hashtags with the most posts.” So the algorithm is basically set up to let you know about anything Zeitgeist-y going on rather than letting you see that Throwback Thursday is a thing again (and again, and again).
This means that the hashtags you see hit trending will be those that have momentum, not just sheer volume. Are they just like Twitter’s? Twitter also shows trends based on what is immediately popular as opposed to what has stayed popular for awhile, which is similar to Vine. But Twitter’s blog notes that trends “are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location.” That’s not how it is with Vine yet, as you can see from my Twitter conversation with Kroll:
@kateknibbs they are static but updated very frequently
— colin kroll (@ckb) April 9, 2013
Will these hashtags actually make Vine a better place? Since it’s still a much smaller social network than Twitter or Instagram, Vine users who properly affix a trending hashtag to their looping movies have a good chance of getting extra exposure, though things will get diluted if more people join in on the fun.