The hashtag revolution surely began with twitter but don't you want to know how this icon came into existence?
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Entrepreneur Staff
Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

In the world of social media world, hashtag has become a powerful tool to initiate conversation, increase brand visibility and reach more and more audience. A hashtag simply means a type of metadata tag used on the social network and micro blogging services which make it possible for users to still find messages with a specific theme or content. It's hard to believe but the popular symbol is ten years old today. The hashtag revolution surely began with twitter but don’t you want to know how this icon came into existence? Let's take a look at 3 reasons why hashtag was invented :

To Change The Way We Communicate

The idea of the first hashtag was suggested on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina, ex-Uber, ex-Googler and tech evangelist who wanted to change the way we use social media to communicate. Two days later, he published a lengthy proposal clarifying his intention, with suggestions for how Twitter might adopt the idea of using Hashtag. As it happened, Twitter didn’t really officially recognize the hashtag until July 15, 2011.

Chris wrote in a medium blog post that he wanted to give back to the internet community, in some small way to repay all those who came before him and had contributed their time, effort, and love.

To Target Twitter Content More Effectively

Messina is also known for his involvement in helping to create the BarCamp, Spread Firefox, and coworking movements.

He came up with the idea of using the hashtag when a bunch of early Twitter users were looking for a way to target their content more effectively and give people a way to tune into conversations they were interested in.

Many people were suggesting to create a Twitter group but Chris felt that idea wasn’t really mobile-friendly.  Inspired by the use of the hashtag in Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Chris suggested adding a tag prefixed with "#" anywhere in the tweet, so that it gets added to a particular channel or group.

To Lowered The Cost Of Participating

Messina wrote in his blog that hashtags make connecting with other people who are talking about or experiencing the same things much, much easier. And they're light-weight enough that one can create one on the spot, without much thinking, and suddenly get a movement going even if it's short-lived.

He also added that hashtags have lowered the cost of participating in the social web for everyone and made it easier to connect to people in a fun, lightweight, serendipitous way.

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