Hashtags have evolved into one of the most social aspects in all of social networking – you can use them to join topic-specific chats, spread brand awareness, or promote a certain brand, product, contest, or initiative with your followers.
Hashtags haven’t always been present on social media. The first hashtag was introduced in August 2007 by Chris Messina, an open source and open standards advocate, as a means to identify a certain group (#BarCamp). Messina hoped to create a way for a group of individuals to participate in an online chat and view what others are sharing on a particular topic. In a blog post explaining his idea, he quipped “I’m more interested in simply having a better eavesdropping experience on Twitter.”
Hashtags quickly grew in popularity and spread to other social networks, and have been appropriated for Twitter chats, photo-sharing trends, and sarcastic punch lines. How to know if you’re using them properly? Check out Gremln’s Hashtag Etiquette for tips!