Hashtags, previously known as the pound symbol on devices called telephones, help to organize conversations around an endless number of topics.
A new infographic from Offerpop talks about the history of hashtags from the very beginning to where we are today.
It all started in August 2007 thanks to Twitter user Chris Messina:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina™ (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
In October of that year, California wildfires lead to the use of #sandiegofire, one of the first major events covered by a hashtag.
#sandiegofire Fallbrook: 100 homes burned, 500-1000 still at risk.
— Nate Ritter (@nateritter) October 22, 2007
- July 2009: Twitter officially recognizes the hashtag, and links them to search results.
- January 2011: Instagram adds support for hashtags, and the first SuperBowl commercial with a hashtag is aired by Audi.
- Spring 2011: Twitter plays a huge part in the uprising in the Middle East.
- October 2011: Google+ starts linking hashtags to search results.
- June 2012: Twitter airs first ever TV commercial, and promotes use of the hashtag.
- January 2013: Vine launches on iOS, and includes hashtag support from day one.
- March 2013: Flickr adds hashtag support to iOS app.
- June 2013: Facebook finally supports hashtags.
- September 2013: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake perform a skit about hashtags.
According to Offerpop, over 70 percent of people use hashtags on mobile compared to over 30 percent on desktops or laptops, and tweets containing hashtags are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted.