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Hashtag Grids

One of the new things in Showyou 3.0 for the iPad are hashtag grids.  They’re an experiment, and we’re excited to see where this experiment leads.

We create these hashtag grids by looking at the 5-6 million videos that flow into Showyou each day — the videos shared by our users, and their friends and people they follow on Twitter and Facebook.

When we see a hashtag in a comment on Showyou or on Twitter associated with a given video, we log that, and stamp the video with that hashtag. We look at the top 50 or so hashtags every day, throughout the day, and publish the top 10 or so that look most interesting, relevant, and newsworthy. We’ll continue to refine how we select these going forward, but wanted to start with a more editorial, curatorial approach, and not simply rely on algorithms or popularity to determine which hashtags to highlight.

The top hashtags are shown in our Showyou tray; tap on the search button on the iPad, you’ll see the current trending hashtags in the tray. Tap a hashtag to see a grid of the videos associated with it. It’s a bit like curated search (indeed, if you want to see all the results for a given term, just search for it without the hashtag).

We built this new feature with the hope that our community might start to collaboratively create grids of videos. And, indeed, we’re starting to see some interesting results. From our users in the Middle East in particular, we’re seeing dramatic, startling hashtag grids documenting the civil warfare and human rights abuses in Syria (#homs, #syria), and the unrest in countries like Egypt and Bahrain (#egypt, #tahrir, #feb14 #bahrain). We’ve also seen interesting hashtag grids relevant to memes, events and popular culture here in the United States (#epicfail, #superbowl, #occupy, #ows, #sopa) and technology (#siri).

Next time you see a video you want to share, think about adding a hashtag. We’ve added a handy hashtag button in the comment area to make it easy. Tap it, who knows where it’ll lead!

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