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Who invented the hashtag?

Hashtag History And Inventor - Hasgtag On A Shop Window

Hashtags are used regularly by millions of social media users, first among members of the largest micro-blogging community, Twitter, and later by instagramers, who use Instagram with private or business profiles.

In this post, we’ll uncover the history of the hashtag, when it was born and where it comes from and eventually, why monitor hashtags of celebrities, companies and brands and the free tools and the paid ones to manage this task.

Do you know who invented the hashtag, what was the first hashtag and why it became famous so quickly?

Hashtags are used by everyone who distributes content of different kinds on social media with the main purpose to label a specific topic which later on can be searched for and found by other users.

Hence the user-generated content (UGC) is managed to adopt hashtags so that other users can easily find the topics of their interest, participate in online conversations, share the same content.

This is how social channels and other media constantly update their database and knowledge as a factor that includes any type of information or data, which is shared by everyone using the web for several aims such as long-life learning, studying, stay informed, find news and all types of content.

The first hashtag or octothorp or pound sign.

The expert in “social” technologies Chris Messina, is credited as the one who posted the first hashtag on Twitter. He was the first to post the #barcamp hashtag in August 2007. This is the original tweet: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”

Messina used the hashtag with the intention of gathering conversations regarding Barcamp, an international network of non-open conferences related to technology and the web. His username @MrMessina. Since that day, hashtags have multiplied, invading other social channels and throughout the network, to become one of the most used functions.

It seems that Evan Williams, founder of Twitter, actually shared the idea with Messina – he didn’t think hashtags would become so popular due to the extremely technological approach they required. Messina claimed that IRC Internet Relay Chat – Internet instant messaging protocol influenced the pioneering concept behind the hashtag. In fact, in IRC the hashtag was quite common before the birth of Twitter.

How to monitor hashtags

These days, the hashtag is used on social channels in order to attract a growing number of followers and increase the popularity of a brand.

There are various online tools to monitor the popularity of a hashtag, how many times it has been used, how many impressions it has gotten, who is talking about it, what other hashtags are being used and what people are writing about it.

We all know that the Internet is the speed realm, the digital world travels at rates infinitely greater than the possibilities of keeping pace with the advancement of knowledge that human beings can bear.

So often applications, platforms and software used even just three years ago or even a year ago, today have given way to more updated tools or have changed ownership.

Precisely what happened to twtrland, now Klear, the new “standard” in Influencer Marketing.

Among the free tools recommended by experts in 2021 also include:

  • Hashtags – Very useful for monitoring a hashtag on a number of platforms. The Analytics tool for your brand, company, product, service, event or blog, in free paid version as well. The site is an unmissable source of information that every Social Media Manager knows they have to use to read up on trending hashtags in various sectors such as business, technology, entertainment, etc.
  • Talkwalker Free Search – With its Free Social Search you can measure sentiment, mentions, engagement of your chosen topic.
  • Hashtagify – As Francesco Ambrosino states ( @ Fra_ambro ) founder of socialmediacoso.it on the Talkwalker blog: ” What makes this tool worth taking into consideration is, in my notice, the Related Hashtag function, which generates an embeddable dynamic chart in two versions: Related Chart and Related Table. “.
  • RiteTag – Have no idea which hashtags to use on Twitter? Get instant hashtag suggestions for images and text on desktop and mobile. Based on real-time hashtag engagement.
  • Socialert – A reliable hashtag monitoring tool, to track hashtag keywords and social account, you can use it for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Quickly track all Twitter hashtag posts and any Twitter account with the help of the tool to measure metrics including Twitter impressions, sentiments, viral content for any hashtag and Twitter account. Simplify the monitoring of Instagram Insights, keep track of all the information related to any brand hashtag in real-time. Reports include metrics like collaborators, posts, hashtags, links, and more. Finally, with Socialert you get an in-depth analysis of any Facebook page. Identify key metrics of any Facebook page and get details like top posts, hourly distribution, hashtags, URLs, etc.

Hashtags on Instagram: tips and ideas.

Did you know why hashtags are so important on Instagram and how you can use them in different ways to build your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Here are 3 tips to focus on for your business, whatever it is.

  • Hashtags on Instagram help find relevant content you are interested in and this also applies to your community.
  • Hashtags on Instagram let you define your main content and grow your fan base.
  • Hashtags on Instagram are paramount when you want to create a specific brand awareness campaign or any other type of Social Media campaign

Imagine what you could do with a hashtag like i.e. #myhappybreakfast or #mymorningroutine and again #besttipsforwriters.

Conclusion
Hashtags have also become popular on other social channels. First on Twitter where they were born, now they have acquired their own specific value on channels like Instagram and LinkedIn and also serve to marketing, promoting events, products, services and brands.

This post was first written on the 7th of October 2014 and updated on the 23rd of March 2021

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Marino Baccarini

I am a consultant in Business Communication, Web Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

I offer my skills to SMEs and professionals aimed at creating relationships with potential customers in order to increase sales using cross-media communication, Web Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

My primary interest is to spread the practice of Mindfulness in businesses and invite them to adopt the Socially Engaged Business model I am working on (different from the CSR protocol - Corporate Social Responsibility).

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