Online use of the hashtag began on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988. IRC is a network where users communicate to one another through channels, signified by the pound sign. For example, #London would be a channel of people talking about London. With the IRC community growing to almost half a million users, they needed a name for the titles of these channels, and thus they decided on the hashtag.
A little over a decade later, social technology expert Chris Messina shared the first message with a hashtag on Twitter on August 23, 2007. The tweet stated,
?how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]??
See it on Twitter by clicking here.
According to hashtag.org, Chris Messina came up with the hashtag for the purpose of gathering discussions and online exchanges regarding Barcamp, a technology unconference gathering activity that spans worldwide. The goal was to provide users with proper restrictions that would limit conversations to be more specific that would only relate to a particular audience.
Messina said that IRC influenced his pioneering concept. Reports say that Evan Williams, one of the founders of Twitter, didn’t think that hashtags were going to be very popular because of their very technical approach.
According to lexicographer Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society's New Words Committee, the first published use of the term "hash tag" was in a blog post by Stowe Boyd titled, "Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings," on August 26, 2007.
In 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink hashtags from Tweets to search results for the hashtag text. Once Twitter users were able to search for specific hashtags, their use skyrocketed.
Today, hashtags are used on other social media platforms in addition to Twitter, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+. Hashtags are part of daily conversations by millions of social media users. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character, #, (also known as the pound sign, number sign, or octothorpe) in front of a word or un-spaced phrase. Searching for that hashtag will exhibit each message that has been tagged with it. A hashtag archive is consequently collected into a single stream under the same hashtag.
Hashtags make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Hashtags are also used for other reasons, such as side notes or whispers. Smart marketers use hashtags to increase brand recognition, identify specific events and promote a product.
Denise Grothouse is the Founder and President of Perfect Six, a Marketing and Brand Management Firm.
What We Do
Social Media Marketing
We are located in The Lehigh Valley, near Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Quakertown and provide services nationwide.
Our marketing offices are open 8am to 6pm daily.
Feel free to call us at 484-725-6023 to learn more.
6104 Buckery Road Germansville PA 18053