Why does writing your hashtags in camel case make them more accessible and what are the benefits?
Firstly, you might be wondering — what is camel case?
Most people write out their hashtags by leaving each letter of a word in lowercase, something like #digitaldevelopment. Some people don’t have any difficulty when reading this and are able to decipher the phrase. However for many others it isn’t as easy.
To make your hashtags accessible and easier to read, you should capitalise the first letter of each word. For example, #DigitalDevelopment is more accessible and the user can easily decipher what the tag means.
1. Avoid Misunderstanding
If we all used Camel Case in our hashtags we can easily avoid the misunderstanding of phrases, who remembers when Susan Boyle’s PR team used the following hashtag to promote her upcoming album…#susanalbumparty? The infamous hashtag has to be one of the most memorable hashtag fails, we’ll let you decipher what it could mean.
Wouldn’t a capitalised #SusanAlbumParty have been easier to read and helped to avoid any naughty misunderstandings?
2. Screen Readers
A screen reader is used by people who are blind or are visually impaired in any way. The screen reader reads out words and sentences on a screen so that a user can listen and decipher the content. As hashtags are all one word, screen readers do not understand that there might be multiple words present. Usually a screen reader will try to read out the word as one — imagine trying to understand a complex hashtag such as #reasonshumanswillgoextinct without camel case.
When we capitalise the first letter of each word it is more likely a screen reader will understand that there are multiple words present in the hashtag and would read out #ReasonsHumansWillGoExtinct as “Reasons humans will go extinct”.
3. People with cognitive disabilities or dyslexia
As we mentioned previously, some people still have difficulty deciphering a hashtag without any capitalisation. For anyone who has challenges identifying patterns in written words and the relationship between those words, using camel case is a huge benefit to those users.
Why would we purposely try to exclude any of our audience from the conversation?