Hashtags – Brief Lookback

We did use social media long before it was invaded by endless lines of phrases and words preceded by hashtags, didn’t we ? Well, do we just use it to make our captions look cooler or do these hashtags serve a purpose beyond that ? Let’s find out !

Hashtags are keywords – words, phrases, etc. that are created by preceding the keywords with the hash mark (#). A hashtag allows any post to be searchable/discoverable along with other posts that are referring to the same theme or content. In simplicity, searching for a particular hashtag will yield each message that has been tagged with it.

On August 23, 2007, Chris Messina – inventor of hashtags, proposed the organisation of tweets by suggesting the usage of hash symbol and this tweet marks the first ever use of a hashtag.

How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina’s original Tweet proposing hashtag usage, August 23, 2007

Even though the hashtags were widely used post this, Twitter did not adopt this indexing mechanism until July 2009, when it formally began to automatically hyperlink all the hashtags in tweets.

Though initially Twitter dubbed the hashtags as a “thing for nerds”, Twitter introduced the “Trending Topics” on their front page in 2010. This listed all the hashtags that were rapidly gaining popularity.

A brain wave that was the solution to gather discussions and online exchanges regarding Chris’ Barcamp caused a paradigm shift in social media. The hashtag trend grew rapidly and extended to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ within no time.

Hashtags have now become an integral aspect in Digital marketing, influencing most of the marketing strategies. The hashtag analytics are now becoming an increasingly coveted tool to analyze and employ any digital strategy!

On this space, we will further talk about “Hashtags and Digital Marketing trends”. But for now, we are ending this with a quote from Chris Messina, an inventor who did not want to make a dime from his invention.

“I had no interest in making money (directly) off hashtags. They are born of the Internet, and should be owned by no one. The value and satisfaction I derive from seeing my funny little hack used as widely as it is today is valuable enough for me to be relieved that I had the foresight not to try to lock down this stupidly simple but effective idea.”
— Chris Messina, inventor of hashtags.