The hashtag was introduced on Twitter 10 years ago today.
Former Google designer Chris Messina suggested using what was then more commonly known as the pound symbol for grouping tweets by topic.
Twitter initially rejected the idea, according to Messina, reportedly doubting that the code-like organizational nerdiness of hashtags would catch on. Regardless of the lack of company support, however, it did catch on — initially taking off during a series of 2007 wildfires in San Diego, California.
Since then, the hashtag has been used to cover the widest variety of subjects, groups, movements and statements imaginable.
Hashtags have facilitated everything from the ‘Twitter Revolution’ that developed during the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests to the aggregation of feel-good wedding tweets.
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— ⌗ChrisMessina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
They’ve also spread from Twitter across the web to touch almost all other platforms that allow user engagement.
The effect that hashtags have had on the world is impossible to properly quantify, but for many of us, it may be shocking to realize that it’s no longer a young technology.
At a decade, the hashtag is the same age as the iPhone, and just about a year older than Android (if we count from the OS’ commercial debut on the HTC Dream).
Throughout those years, it went from new hot internet trend to running joke to established element of digital communication worldwide — a tool that transcends language and culture.
Let us know your favourite hashtags from the past ten years below.