For Saagar Gupta, a UIUC junior in the College of Business, creating a worldwide search engine is the main course on his plate of work. As the main contributor to UIUC’S Meme and Events Page and part of the Heartland Music Festival, Gupta has already made an imprint on campus. But it is with a project called Hashtagr that Gupta may make an imprint on the world of social media.
HC: How did the idea behind Hashtagr come to be?
SG: Over this past summer, my friends Khoa and Dennis from Niles North High School brought up the idea they started working on. I did DECA with Khoa in high school, and we continued to share ideas with each other. We decided to focus on this one together.
HC: Can you explain what Hashtagr is?
SG: Hashtagr is a hashtag aggregator with two fronts, B2C and B2B. For the average user, Hashtagr is a search engine that aggregates posts from Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook on one screen. You can search your favorite celebrity, artist, event, university, brand, restaurant or just about anything you can think of. You can also filter posts by platform and put on Live Mode for streaming posts in real time (useful for events). We have had over 30,000 unique users.
HC: How can Hashtagr be useful for its users?
SG: For businesses, Hashtagr provides a behind the scenes "Hashtag Tracking Platform" that social media specialists and content managers can use to track their Hashtag campaigns. Businesses often use Hashtag campaigns to drive up social media engagement, so a "Hashtag Tracking" platform can be extremely useful. Some features of the platform will include caching Hashtag posts to be viewed easily and analytics such as Post Volume by Hashtag via time.
HC: How did you eventually work your way to becoming the co-founder and chief marketing officer of the site?
SG: Mainly from of my experiences in social media. It was a good compliment to a social media outlet. I was brought me on board with this idea ever since, and it’s been history
HC: What are you doing to make sure the site reaches global success?
SG: People that know about the site love using it. We are making music videos to help promote it, too.
HC: What are your expectations for the site?
SG: Businesses can use it to stay up-to-date with their hashtag campaign via our new tracking platform.
HC: What’s the best memory you have that involves working with the site?
SG: I remember buying all the Second Story pizza left after I found out we got in the Microsoft Imagine Fund at 2 a.m.
HC: What advice would you give to readers that want to be in your shoes?
SG: If you have an idea, pursue it. Make sure it’s a reasonable idea and that you can make it happen. Find the best people, and don’t be jealous of other people’s successes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and keep that connection. Other people are very willing to help.