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Norbert Vercauteren
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What's a hashtag?

The hashtag is a fence (#) that is usually placed in front of a word / sentence on social media.

What's the point of the hashtag?

The hashtag is a label, a recognition mark that you can attach to a message. It ensures that messages on the same topic are easily grouped together. This makes it easier for social media users to view similar messages, compare content and link them together.

Twitter was the first (2007) to enter the hashtag. Google+ followed in September 2012. After that Facebook (2013), Pinterest (2017), Instagram (2018) and LinkedIn (2018) also did it.

The hashtags were initially not provided with a hyperlink. In 2009, Twitter added the hyperlink by default.

Where does the hashtag (#) come from?

The #-sign finds its origin in the 'Pound sign' (British weight measure).

The stylized #-sign was used for a lot of things. In 1960 it appeared for the first time on a keyboard of a telephone of the American Bell Telephone Company. At that time there were no home computers (1980) or mobile phones (1990), let alone smartphones.

Since when are hashtags used on social media?

The # symbol, now called the 'hash', has only recently been introduced in social media. It was first introduced in a tweet by Chris Messina on 23 August 2007.

first hashtag post on twitter from Chris Messina

Messina himself described his first '#tag' as 'channel tag'. A few days later it became the hashtag. Why did it become the hashtag? There are several stories and hypotheses about this. One of them is that it sounds good.

Nate Ritter sandiegofire tweet hashtag

#sandiegofire (October 2007) reported on huge forest fires in San Diego California. it was the first hashtag to group over 1000 messages.

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