In today’s era of social networking, using a hashtag has become a trend. Hashtags give a powerful start to a conversation on a social media platform like Facebook and Twitter, when it comes to increasing brand visibility and outreaching an increasingly large audience on the web. A hashtag essentially refers to a kind of metadata tag used on social platforms and various micro-blogging portals that make it feasible for users on such platforms to start as well as to join a conversation around a particular theme.
The Origin of Hashtag
It’s pretty hard to believe today that this symbol was discovered ten years ago. You perhaps came to know about this hashtag revolution beginning from Twitter. Now that you know a little more about a hashtag, aren’t you willing to know more about its origin? Let’s walk you through the 3 main reasons why hashtags came into existence.
To Alter the Way We Communicate Online
Chris Messina, ex-Googler, came up with the idea of a hashtag on August 23rd, 2007, in an attempt to alter the way people communicate on social media. On August 25th, he wrote a lengthy proposal and got it published aiming at clarifying his intention and suggesting the use of hashtags on Twitter. However, the social network recognized the idea of using hashtags on July 15th, 2011.
On his medium blog, Chris Messina posted that we wanted to return to the Internet community in a way to pay back everyone who contributed their efforts, time, and great love before he did.
To Efficiently Target Twitter Content
Chris had also contributed to the origin of Spread Firefox, BarCamp, and co-working movements. When Twitter users were eagerly looking for an approach to efficiently target their content and provide other to tune into ongoing conversations they would like to join, based on their interest, Chris came forward with the great idea of incorporating a hashtag.
Some experts also came up with their suggestions like creating groups on Twitter. Chris, on the other hand, realized that the idea would not work, as it wasn’t suitable for mobile users. After getting inspired by the use of a hashtag in IRC (i.e. Internet Relay Chat), he also suggested adding ‘#’ as a prefix with a tag in the tweet, as it will be added to a group or channel with that hashtag as its name.
To Reduce the Participation Cost
Chris, in his blog, also mentioned that using a hashtag in a tweet makes connecting to people talking about the same thing on a social media platform much easy and interesting. Anyone on Twitter can create a hashtag instantly and start a movement on Twitter right away, irrespective of its life span.
After hashtags have become quite popular on Twitter and Facebook, it has become much, much easy for people to start a movement on social media and connect to more and more people with similar interests. Organizations have also started running social media campaigns using their respective hashtags.
Let’s see how far this hashtag trend goes.