The Origin of the Hashtag

Image: Flickr, Maria Elena

Hey there!

We’ve all heard of hashtags in social media, and most of us have used them.

For those who aren’t familiar with how they work, they’re basically a way to categorize content by keyword/key phrase on social media. If, for example, Twitter is the filing cabinet and tweets are the papers inside, hashtags are the folders that categorize and store the tweets by topic. Tweets without hashtags are like loose pieces of paper thrown into the filing cabinet, which can get lost and are harder to find later. (Welcome to Ingrid’s Social Training 101.)

So, where did the first hashtag come from?

In 2007 a Google designer named Chris Messina tweeted the first hashtag as a new idea. Although the hashtag didn’t take off right away, it later did in a big way.

Fast forward to today and hashtags are now used on many social platforms, including Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and more.

LinkedIn temporarily allowed the hashtag feature as well, but turned it off since its search functionality wasn't great. People still post them sometimes any way, which causes the hashtags to show up as regular text and not hyperlinks.

Hashtags are a great way to help your content be found, run campaigns, and insert your brand in popular conversations where appropriate. It's important, however, to not include too many hashtags in your posts, which #can #break #up #your #flow #making #it #harder #for #your #audience #to #understand #your #point. 

What about you? What hashtag tips do you have to share? Please post a comment below and let me know!

Have a great week,