Hashtags are usually used for content categorisation – they make content searchable. Sometimes they are also used to perform other roles, for example, highlighting and stylistic. I suggest we look at them as a tool for creating stories. Why don’t we call these stories HashFiction?
Hashtags such as #grrr, #EpicFail, #toomuchfaketan or #yesiknow might not be the best tools to organise content on social media. They are too general. Possibly most of the hashtags that are in use today either Twitter or Instagram have this problem. There is no value, from the search perspective, for the content to be categorised under these hashtags. But is this a problem? Instead of focusing on categorising function, let’s explore the possibility of writing short stories (FlashFiction) using these hashtags.
The idea behind Flashfiction is to condense a story into the fewest words possible. At the same time, the story should have a plot and ideally a twist or surprise at the end. Depending on the length Flash Fiction could have many different names. It usually has a maximum of 1000 words but there are many different types – all with different maximum lengths: Sudden fiction will have less than 750 words, Microfiction, also known as Drabble (between 300-100 words), Minisaga, also known as Dribble, (50 words) or Twitterature (280-characters). Possibly the shortest is the Six-word story. There are also other types of FlashFiction known as microstories, short-shorts, short short stories, very short stories, postcard fiction or nanofiction with their maximum lengths between 1000 and 6 words.
I suggest adding a new type of FlashFiction – HashFiction. It is mostly used on social media, especially on platforms that support hashtags, such as Twitter. A lot of Twitter users do not even realise, that they sometimes create short stories using hashtags only. Some of these stories could consist of a single hashtag:
Other could consist of two or more hashtags:
“#RuinHolidayIn4Hahstags: #InstaSun #InstaBoat #HoldOn #TooLate”
In short, HashFiction happens when Hashtags are used to create (Flash)fiction.