advertisement
advertisement

#Happy #tenth #anniversary #to #the #hashtag

One of the defining things about Twitter has always been the degree to which its own users have shaped the service. And 10 years ago today, a Twitter user named Chris Messina proposed a new way to make it easier to find tweets about a given topic. He suggested marking keywords with a pound sign—a convention … Continue reading “#Happy #tenth #anniversary #to #the #hashtag”

One of the defining things about Twitter has always been the degree to which its own users have shaped the service. And 10 years ago today, a Twitter user named Chris Messina proposed a new way to make it easier to find tweets about a given topic. He suggested marking keywords with a pound sign—a convention that quickly caught on and became known as the hashtag.

advertisement

To celebrate this anniversary, Twitter cofounder Biz Stone has blogged some thoughts and history. I must confess that I’ve never used hashtags much myself—they feel mechanical rather than human, and I’ve never wanted to be associated with those Twitter users who #compulsively #hashtag #for #no #apparent #reason. Still, they’ve not only served the purpose Messina envisioned, but spread far beyond Twitter and become part of our culture. (See: Sophia Amoruso’s book #Girlboss, one of many instances of the hashtag popping up in contexts that serve no useful purpose—but still speak to people on some emotional level.)

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

More