However, the rise of Twitter, as well as the media’s reliance on the platform to quantify events, is clouding the issue. Indeed, watch any TV news report, and you’re bound to hear the phrase “the issue is trending on Twitter,” even if the hashtag refers to a event that last just hours or days, which doesn't qualify as a trend.
While there are several tools available to track hashtags to determine whether or not they were a flash in the pan or were truly trending (appearing over a long duration and influencing a market), it’s also useful to look who is creating these hashtags. Evaluating the type and frequency of a user, brand, or celebrity can often help flesh out whether a popular hashtag is simply based on a good marketing campaign or was developed organically, and it can also provide insights into whether the hashtag had staying power.
Enter HashTag Spy, a new, free app available for iOS devices that lets users select a particular user, brand, celebrity or other entity that has a Twitter handle, and see a list of all the hashtags has used, along with a frequency count. The interface is very clean, and if you input an incorrect or non-existent handle, you simply won’t get any results. Once generated, the list can be easily exported as a CSV file for further analysis.