The hashtag is celebrating its 10th year as a Twitter staple Wednesday. Here’s the history of how the feature went from being a dull pound sign to social media necessity.
Chris Messina, a tech expert, came up with the idea roughly a year after Twitter first launched in July 2006. He evidently wanted there to be a way to narrow interactions and conversations amongst the expansive Twittersphere based on any interests or general terms.
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— ⌗ChrisMessina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
The idea took off, and has been a major component for the social media platform ever since. The hashtag likely has more uses than Messina first visualized, as people employ the symbol to track global happenings, participate in an array of discussions, indicate their location and create trends.
For example, while the term ThrowbackThursday was presumably used in casual instances before the advent of social media, it has become a massive campaign for people to share old memories, whether distant or relatively recent.
In relation to the popular events, people watching a certain program on television can share their thoughts, from the intricacies of the cinematography to the choice of dialogue. “#GOT,” by way of illustration, is the designation for the HBO show “Game of Thrones.”
And quite appropriately, #Hashtag10 is featured Wednesday on the Twitter’s trending sidebar, accompanied with a unique emoji.
But why didn’t Messina patent this trendsetting social media phenomenon?
He said he didn’t want to claim “a government granted monopoly” because it would have restricted its widespread adoption, which is the “antithesis” of what he wanted. Messina also states that he had no interest in making money off of something that was “born of the Internet.”
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