At this stage, you’ve simply got to know what a social media hashtag is. Whether you’ve seen them on your newsfeeds, searched for them on your social pages or shared them after viewing your favourite ad, hashtags are what make users in the digisphere ‘talk the talk’.

This is especially true when there are global events happening that have everyone in the world jabbering. So, which events were the most unforgettable in 2020?

Let’s dive in!

Here are the top 10 most memorable hashtags of the year:

Memorable hashtag #1: #COVID19

It wouldn’t be 2020 if we didn’t bring in COVID-19. This pandemic is the biggest thing that has happened to our world in a very long time, which is why it’s no surprise that #COVID19 has been named the ‘most Tweeted hashtag in 2020’.

The #tag, although very popular earlier this year when the pandemic first hit, is still used on a continuous basis.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

The hashtag (along with other variations thereof) was reportedly Tweeted 400 million times in 2020. You might be thinking: How much is there still to say about this pandemic? Well, that’s just it: The hashtag wasn’t just used to talk about the pandemic itself; “[it] changed how we Tweeted about so many other topics,” says Tracy McGraw in a blog for Twitter.

Image sourced from HONEYCOMBERS

Memorable hashtag #2: #BushFire

In June 2019, the Australian bushfires started off slowly, which was seemingly the norm in the country. However, news stories continued to pop up after the fires weren’t dying down, and the hashtag ‘#BushFire” started to trend early on in the year 2020.

According to an article by the BBC, “Australia has always experienced bushfires — it has a ‘fire season’. But this year, they are a lot worse than normal.”

As the bushfires took a turn for the worst in 2020, more concerns were brought up on social media, with ‘#BushFire’ trending online.

So, what exactly is happening in Australia? Why are these fires getting exponentially worse?

Well, according to the article, the reason this story spread globally is because these bushfires are being caused by climate change, with temperatures in the country rising to new heights. “Scientists have long warned that this hotter, drier climate will contribute to fires becoming more frequent and more intense,” says the team at the BBC.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

Fire is inevitably a danger to all life forms; these fires were destroying habitats and livelihoods all around the country. On the plus side, people from across the world are doing all they can to help suppress the destruction, including saving this little pygmy possum (below) after many thought its species had been dubbed extinct.
Additionally, many funding and donation sites have been set up on social media since the fires started in order to help those affected by the destruction. “Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been used to raise awareness of the bushfires and inform people of ways they can help,” says Sharon Masige in an article for Business Insider.

Find out how to donate to these awareness fundraisers here.

Memorable hashtag #3: #StayHome

Coming in as the third most Tweeted hashtag is #StayHome. This hashtag made its appearance during lockdown when many people were being urged to stay indoors in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

This hashtag came about as a means to help ‘flatten the curve’. This refers to the number of people predicted to catch the virus after a set amount of time. The hashtag aimed to prevent a spike, or increase, in cases by encouraging people to stay safe and at home.

Memorable hashtag #4: #TigerKing

This hashtag should definitely trigger a memory of you and your loved ones sitting on the couch tuning in to watch the most talked about Netflix series in the months of March and April.

Thoughts like “Why am I watching this?” or “Why do people like this?” may have crossed your mind as you enter the seventh episode with your jaw on the floor — and that’s exactly why this television series was possibly the most-watched show during lockdown.

In case you haven’t watched it, here’s a brief rundown of what it’s about: The hit-series follows two tiger owners as they battle it out in order to determine who has the best big cat showcasing in the United States. However, it also involves drugs, murder and an attempted assasination. What makes it even more exciting? It’s a docu-reality series based on the true-life events of big-cat owner and felon, Joe Exotic.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

The conspiracy attached to this Netflix series was the main trigger that got everyone talking on social media; (spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it) but many people were sharing memes about Carol Baskin and whether she did or did not actually feed her husband to a tiger. People were also just enthralled with the entire concept of people being tiger owners and the drama associated with it.  

Memorable hashtag #5: #Megxit

With all the changes happening in 2020, the world definitely didn’t see this next one coming: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have left the building — the royal building that is.

This hashtag made waves on social media platforms and appeared on several news story headlines. Shortly after the announcement, many people were already offering their own personal perceptions (and hilarious comments) on Twitter about the event.
Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

The news came as a shock to the entire world, nevermind the royal family, as it’s extremely uncommon for someone to not want to be royalty. Right? Right? Well, according to an article by Vanity Fair, things may have been a bit too heavy for the couple to handle. “They both admitted that they had been struggling with the pressure that came along with being in the royal orbit.”

Either way, it’s clear that it’s time for this couple to go off on new, ‘non-royal’ adventures.

Memorable hashtag #6: #WorkingFromHome

This hashtag made its appearance shortly after #COVID19 and #StayHome, as many people were being entered into a ‘new normal’, which involves #WorkingFromHome.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

The whole purpose of the hashtag was to share everyone’s different experiences that they’ve had with this new development. From insights into the good, the bad and the ugly side of remote working, people across all platforms were keen to express their views.

Considering how the world will only continue to implement these changes (see #4IR), we don’t see this hashtag (or this new way of working) dying down any time soon.

Memorable hashtag #7: #BlackLivesMatter

Many people took to social media with this hashtag after the unjust death of a black American man, George Floyd, on 25 May. Floyd’s death re-ignited the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag on social media, which forms part of an ongoing initiative that is known for promoting equality and solidarity amongst the black youth. Its purpose is to advocate against “various forms of racism”, among other things.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

Following the events of Floyd’s death, many people were angered by the unjust actions of the police, especially considering that police brutality is a well-known issue in the United States.

It’s through this hashtag and initiative that people were able to raise awareness and donate to Floyd’s family, as well as others afflicted by similar unjust events that happened this year. Although, there is a lot more that individuals, and especially brands, can do to help.
You can read more about this in our article, Navigating corporate activism: How your brand can show solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter.

Memorable hashtag #8: #GenderBasedViolence / #GBV

This hashtag was, and still is, particularly prominent in South Africa in 2020, as concerns have been raised about increasing cases of gender-based violence. These issues were initially raised during the lockdown period, which officially began in the month of March.

However, the problem of #GBV is still ongoing, with many still speaking out against it on social media in the last few months of 2020.
Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

Well, with more women and children being forced to stay at home during lockdown, stats surrounding #GenderBasedViolence were on the rise, with “more than 120 000 victims [reported] in the first three weeks of lockdown.”

Looking to help the cause? Click here to donate to those affected by #GBV.

Memorable hashtag #9: #USElections2020

Capping off the end of the year was the #USElections2020, where people were watching their screens in anticipation to see who would win the United States presidential elections: Donald Trump, or Joe Biden.

Image sourced from Business Today

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

Beyond all the politics associated with the elections, many people on social media across the world were observing the candidates for, well, pure entertainment. There were many humorous memes that came out of the elections, as the two candidates went head to head until the new president eventually surfaced: Joe Biden.

Memorable hashtag #10: #FourthIndustrialRevolution / #4IR

As the year draws to its final close, there is one hashtag that will only continue to make waves on social media in the new year, and that is (drumroll please) ... the #FourthIndustrialRevolution.

Why was this hashtag trending in 2020?

The #4IR escalated during the pandemic, and many have claimed that this digital revolution would be able to actually help the world fight against COVID-19. Beyond the fact that these technologies allow us to live remote lives, many countries are also using this tech as a tool to keep track of infected individuals.

For example, in Taiwan, “mobile tracking has been used to ensure high-risk individuals are quarantined at home, effectively enforcing social-distancing.”

But this technology doesn’t just have an effect on the virus. There are many things that this revolution will bring, and its impact on humans is life-changing.       

Are there any hashtags that topped the social media pages that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you know which hashtags made up the year 2020, check out these Seven trending hashtags about COVID-19 on social media.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy