Origins of the Hashtag: How Did It Start on Twitter?

Origins of the Hashtag

Hashtags are used across the world, especially on the social media platform Twitter. But where did it all begin? What exactly are the origins of the hashtag?

The concept of tagging social media groups and topics with a hashtag is credited to one man named Chris Messina.

While running an internet consulting company in 2007, Chris had the idea of using hashtags on Twitter so people across the world could participate in global conversations. Before this, the hash (or pound) symbol had been featured various ways around the web, which influenced Chris is developing his suggestion for using hashtags on Twitter.

After initially pitching his idea to Twitter and being rejected, Chris encouraged his friends to give the hashtag a go. In 2007, one of his friends was tweeting about a San Diego wildfire and Chris asked him to add #sandiegofire to his tweets. It didn’t take long for other Twitter users to catch on and use the same hashtag.

Chris actually published a blog post to share his ideas about the hashtag – you will notice that many of the ideas featured we use hashtags for today. We know see hashtags as the first place to find information on the latest news and to join discussions on a global scale.

Today, the symbol is so commonly known and widely used that every major social media platform supports the functionality of the hashtag. Instagram and Facebook have also integrated the hashtags into their platforms, and they support the functionality.

Since their introduction, the hashtag has evolved from being a way to connect users to an indispensable tool. The hashtag #MeToo is used to raise awareness about sexual harassment and assault. They’re also used by businesses to reach their target audience and expand their reach.

To learn more about how to use hashtags online and how they can impact your business, check out our blog posts:

Hashtags are now integral to the way we communicate online – and it’s quite fascinating to know the origins of the hashtag and where it all began.

How do you use hashtags? For business? To expand your reach? To join in on global conversations? Let us know in the comments section below.