The idea of the hashtag was born in 2007 when Chris Messina, then a consultant for Citizen Agency before he joined Google as an open web advocate, tweeted, “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” At this point, hashtags could only be utilized through a Twitter search. The idea was slow to catch on, and Messina found himself as one of very few people making use of this new concept.

Later that year, the hashtag proved how useful it could be. When wildfires spread through the San Diego area, Messina convinced Twitter users in the vicinity to use the hashtag #sandiegofire. This hashtag worked as a way to communicate with other people also being affected by the fires.

In 2009, Twitter officially recognized the hashtag by making any phrase preceded by a # into a hyperlink. This allowed users to click on a hashtag and view other tweets about the same subject. After becoming official, use of the hashtag skyrocketed. According to a recent study, 75% of social media users are now using hashtags.

Today, the trending section of Twitter contains the latest and most popular hashtags in the world. This offers a way for users to see what topics are currently the most talked about. Since the hashtag’s inception and rise to popularity on Twitter, social networks like Google+, Instagram, and Facebook have also adopted the hashtag.

How often do you include a hashtag on your social media posts?

Image courtesy of http://www.writeontrack.ie/
  • Bill Braski

    Gahd…I love this stuff. Geek history lessons.