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Twitter hashtags are 10 years old today | © Hamza Butt / Flickr
Twitter hashtags are 10 years old today | © Hamza Butt / Flickr
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The Twitter Hashtag is 10 Years Old Today

Picture of Peter Ward
Tech Editor
Updated: 23 August 2017
Ten years ago today the Twitter hashtag was born. An entrepreneur named Chris Messina suggested the use of the # symbol to group messages on the platform this day in 2007, and the hashtag has gone from strength to strength since.

Now the hashtag symbol is used widely on Twitter, and are tweeted around 125 million times per day. The hashtag has also entered into our everyday language, and popular ones like #ThrowBackThursday have spawned entirely new phrases.

The idea for the hashtag on Twitter came from two old school internet tools: Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, and T-9. IRC was an old method of messaging via group chat rooms. T-9 was an early form of predictive text.

Hashtags on Twitter have grown in popularity over time. In 2007, the most tweeted hashtag was used approximately 9,000 times. This year the most popular hashtag has been tweeted over 300 million times.

“Since it first appeared on Twitter, the hashtag has dramatically evolved — from grouping Tweets, to adding quirky commentary, to sparking social movements and global conversations. Using hashtags on Twitter, people worldwide have made this platform their microphone, shaped culture, and changed the world,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.

To celebrate the birthday of the hashtag, Twitter created a custom emoji which is good for 24 hours only. To use it, just tweet #Hashtag10.