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Hashtags are represented by the hash symbol. It is a kind of lopsided grid with endings that point in all directions. But when did the hashtag come up? What do we use them for? Why have these symbols become so popular?

If we think about hashtags, it is very likely that we will quickly associate them with social networks, in particular Twitter, Instagram, Google and others. Even Facebook has incorporated hashtags into its code. What it means is that these cyber stubs that Internet users use for keywords are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It doesn’t seem like a passing fad. Therefore, knowing some curiosities about them may be quite entertaining and interesting.

Hashtag history

Tags have been around for quite some time and were first used in 1980 on a platform known as Internet Chat or IRC. At the time, they were used as we currently do, to group messages, images, content and videos into categories. The purpose, of course, was for users to be able to search for these tags and get all the relevant content associated with them.

If we go back in time a little and move to 2007, the internet and social media were in full swing. The creator of the hashtag at 9 p.m. on 2007 when he was 25 years old, use the first hashtag and launched the message: How about using # (numeral) for groups?. A message that would change the history of the network.

In July 2009, Twitter hashtags were officially adopted by Twitter, and any term with a hash # in front of it became a hyperlink. And the movement was later accentuated when Twitter introduced “Trending Topics,” placing the most popular hashtags directly on their home page. Years later, the hashtag reached Instagram, later Facebook and Google

Using Hashtags

There are several reasons for using hashtags, both for personal and business applications. On our personal profiles, it’s helpful to keep family and friends up to date on what’s happening in our lives and about the things we care about.

Corporations have been responsible for creating some of the most popular hashtags, in order to promote a specific product or service. Small businesses have followed incorporating trending hashtags into their social media. It is a way not only to join a topic of conversation, but also to create a new dialogue. Some companies use hashtags to keep up with the marketing of their competitors, learning what generates and does not generate interest.

Whose hashtags are?

We have already seen that it was the American Chris Messina who in 2007 devised the hashtag. But… it is curious that, more than a decade after launching that famous message and having invented the hashtag symbol for the internet, Messina has not received a single euro for this contribution. No one owns the hashtags. Also, there are no rules or guidelines. When we add the hash symbol before a word, it automatically becomes a hashtag and can be exploited and exploited by anyone.