Tweets using hashtags were the first to appear on social media in 2007. An ex-Google employee, Chris Messina, proposed using the “#” symbol to create groups or categories of related tweets. Using # (pound) for groups is what he asked on Twitter: “How do you feel about it? As in #barcamp [message]?” The practice quickly gained popularity on Twitter before spreading to other platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the concept of using tags to categorize online content can be traced back to earlier online communities like IRC (Internet Relay Chat), where they were used to separate chat groups.
Some Facts about Hashtags
A single individual is not credited with inventing hashtags. Rather, it is a collective innovation that emerges from social media platforms to categorize and search content. During the Twitter era, the first hashtag used in this way was the # symbol for grouping conversations around specific topics. Eventually, hashtags spread to other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It is wise to say that the hashtag was created by a collaborative effort that emerged from social media users’ needs and behaviors.