The Success Story of the Hash Tag on the Social Media Sphere in Uganda

A letter to my social media friend
30th May 2017
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In the previous years, if one talked of the word Hash tag, it meant nothing. The evolution of the digital and social media in particular has opened up and led to the birth of new terminologies. In Uganda, the process came to be famously known as “digital Migration”.

In 2013/2014, there was a mass campaign to embrace digital communication. It brought to end the free TV viewership introducing the subscription process. The use of the internet heightened making websites a must have for many businesses. This also saw the growth of “smart phones”. Smart phones have given people a chance to have the world in their hands. With a smart phone, access to the internet has grown tremendously. Telecom service providers have since cut on the internet subscription and introduced various packages. Technology students and practitioners have developed quite a number of apps that have influenced the way work is done online.

In the area of social media there has been progress in the consumption of internet related activities. Hash tags have grown from being social media tools to being startups

#Iam4040.

In 2017, The 40 Days over 40 Smiles has been able to run a number of campaigns. These include building dormitories, building and equipping a library. In 2016, they rolled off the Angaza literacy program where they run reading clubs in schools.

#UgandaReading

Upon her return from her studies in South Africa, Razia Athman was challenged by the poor reading culture in the country. This saw her establish #UgandaReading. This began like a campaign where participants talked about the books they read online. This would soon grow into having a common text for all. Today, Uganda Reading has gone on to establish libraries in hotels, Butabika Hospital and Luzira Prison.

#ThisisUganda

With very little government involvement in online presence, there was scarcely any information online. Most of the countries in the region have embraced social media as a tool to promote their tourism industry. Uganda was lagging behind. A group of friends came together and ran #ThisIsUganda, a hash tag which has grown to becoming the address on all the untold positive stories about Uganda.

Following the success of the hash tag as a social media tool, two TV programs have been created to feature the changing trends in social media. In 2014, Daniel Mumbere of Urban TV began a program called HashTag and in 2016 David Ogutu released The Timeline on NTV.

To be continued…

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