1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Throwback Thursday Definition

What It Means and How to Use It


Throwback Thursday
Photo © Image Source / Getty Images


Throwback Thursday is the name of a weekly social media posting theme that users participate in as part of a very general "throwback" activity for posting content. In this case, the "throwback" theme can pertain to basically anything that happened in the past.

On Thursdays, anyone can participate in the Throwback Thursday trend by posting content (usually a photo) on social networking sites like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook to remember a past event. Photos can be from years ago or from just a few days ago. There aren't really any limitations, and even though it can be fun to participate, it really just gives people an excuse to post more.

Throwback Thursday is very popular on Instagram, and users often tag their photos with a variety of hashtags like #TBT, #ThrowbackThursday or just simply #Throwback. Adding these hashtags can help get photos more exposure from a wider audience of people who are searching through those tags.

Unfortunately, a lot of users on Instagram take advantage of the popular #TBT hashtags and fill them with spam or unrelated content in hopes of gaining more likes and followers. Just go ahead and search through the content posted in the #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday hashtags on Instagram and you'll be bound to stumble across tons posts that have nothing to do with the theme.

The trend is quickly catching on to other social networks too -- especially ones that use hashtag functionality -- like Twitter and Facebook. Businesses and brands have also begun using it as part of their social media marketing and community building strategies.

Why Is Throwback Thursday So Popular?

People love the feeling of nostalgia. That's really all there is to it.

Social media is used for sharing our lives often as it's happening, but we'll take any excuse to reminisce about the old days and the good feelings that come with it. A strong emotional response acts as a catalyst for social sharing, so it makes sense that your most beloved memories of the past are among the things you love to share the most -- even if it only matters to you, and nobody else.

What to Post on Throwback Thursday

You don't have to be a social media superstar or have thousands of followers to get in on this trend. All you need to do find something about the past to post about, and tag with #ThrowbackThursday, #Throwback or #TBT.

Old photos of you from your childhood. This is a big trend and it's something that everyone can do. If you're an adult, you probably have at least a few fond memories of being a kid, so post an old photo that brings back some good memories and tag it.

An old song that takes you back in time. Photos are the most popular content to share for this trend, but songs are not far behind. People love to share songs from decades ago that evoke a strong sense of nostalgia. Post a screenshot of what you're listening to or just simply share the link to the song itself.

Screenshots of old Facebook status updates or tweets. Here's a new one. Social media has been around long enough that we can now look back on some of crazy things we used to post online all those years ago. Timehop is a great tool for checking out what you posted a year ago.

Throwback Thursday Continued: Flashback Friday

Social media users apparently love this trend so much and can't get enough of it once a week that they decided to extend it into Friday. Flashback Friday is the equivalent of Throwback Thursday -- but meant to be posted on with the accompanying #FlasbackFriday (or #FBF) hashtag on Fridays.

Weekday Hashtag Games for Every Day of the Week

Believe it or not, there's a hashtag theme trend just like #TBT for every day of the week. Although they're not quite as popular, they still give you a great excuse to find more content ideas and post way more often.

Check out this weekday Instagram hashtag article to find out what hashtag themes you can play around with from Monday to Friday, and even on weekends.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.