Twitter’s #Hashtag Turns 10

I remember it as the “number sign” or the “pound sign.”  Jeopardy contestants might know it is called an “octothorpe.”  The symbol itself goes back to Roman times, and was used extensively in the telephone industry, appearing on touch tone phone keypads as a way to allow special dialing features.

First suggested by Twitter marketing guru Chris Messina as a way to group, organize, and follow an idea in the Twitter stream, it quickly became a social media staple used not just on Twitter, but also Facebook and Instagram.

Users quick found the hashtag useful in organizing protest movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #ArabSpring.  It has been  used to follow breaking and quickly evolving news stories as in #JeSuisCharlie ansd #PrayForOrlando.

And the actual term “hashtag?”  It first appeared in Twitter on August 25, 2007.

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About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at
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