Ever notice how there are some things about social that just aren’t really that user friendly? Odd, for a vertical called ‘social.’ Search, for example. Have you ever tried doing a hashtag search across multiple platforms? Sure, maybe you’ll find one or two that work on twitter, of course, and maybe instagram, but what about the others? You’d think it was a no-brainer, considering how ubiquitous hashtags have become.
That’s the problem that Hshtags is addressing. Hshtags is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content from (currently) eight different social platforms that utilize hashtags. All, in one tab, just to make it that much easier. Founder and CEO Kim Goulbourne is here to tell us more about the #startup.
Tell us about the service.
Hshtags is a tool for searching social media via the hashtag. We provide a simpler way to digest the multitude of hashtagged content available across multiple social platforms. Currently we support Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Tumblr, Youtube, Vimeo and Flickr. Apart from the core search engine, another main feature of Hshtags is the ability to create lists of tags. They allow for organization and a central place to save and follow all of your favorite tags.
How is it different?
There are not many services available which aggregate social content based on a hashtag search. Most of the ones that do generally stick to Twitter or Instagram, but we set out to serve all platforms that are relevant and growing in their own way when it comes to hashtagged content. Additionally, one thing no other service has ever incorporated is a way to save tags. With Hshtags, now you have a place to go to keep track and share tags that are important to you.
We are aligned with the Social Search market, which has been around for a while but is still trying to find its place. Our focus is on a unique piece of the pie – hashtags. We have bigger plans which don’t stop at search, but also include data surrounding hashtags, ergo the Hashtag Data Market.
What is the business model?
We are currently building out a monthly subscription plan for brands and individuals who want more control over their presence on Hshtags. We are also exploring an analytics product for measuring hashtag performance. There are big things we want to accomplish, but we’re trying to be smart and methodical about it.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
There are various aspects of Hshtags that we are planning to improve upon and add to, such as advanced search which allows you to be more specific in your search, and ‘conversations,’ which allows you to respond inline to posts within a feed of results. There will also be two plans available to a user: the Plus and Premium plans. The Premium plan is targeted to brands or individuals who want to customize their presence on Hshtags. Along with these updates to the core experience, we plan to build a mobile app which will include most of main features available on the site initially, so Hshtags will be easily accessible. We are also exploring the idea of providing an Analytics product for those who wish to track and understand the performance of their hashtags.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community. who would it be and why?
We would love to meet Alexis Ohanian. He’s a great guy, who understands startups and the social internet, plus we’re big fans of the series Small Empires which he hosted on the Verge.
Why are you launching in New York?
We launched in New York because it was where we lived when we started building Hshtags. The entrepreneurial air here is also amazing and inspiring, it can’t hurt to be surrounded by so many great minds.
What hashtag is being searched for the most and which hashtag is most popular?
Currently, the most searched and most popular hashtag is #love; with runner-ups #breakingbad, #socialmedia, #scandal and #selfie close behind.
Where’s the best happy hour in New York?
It’s been a long time since we enjoyed a good happy hour, but Bourbon Street used to be a frontrunner.