Twitter hashtags are 10 years old and they wouldn't have happened without old-school texting

Written on:August 23, 2017
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Yes, it’s really been 10 years. 

Twitter’s most iconic feature is celebrating a big birthday today. Exactly 10 years ago, before there were iPhones, Android phones, or a Twitter app, one Twitter user came up with the idea of using the “#” symbol to group tweets together.

That early Twitter user was Chris Messina, who has said the idea originally stemmed from what are now two major throwbacks from the early days of the Internet: IRC and T-9. 

IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is an old web standard that enabled messaging via group chat rooms. The format we now know as a hashtag, where similar messages are grouped together using the # sign, was already a well-established part of IRC in 2007, so it made some sense to bring the same dynamic to Twitter. Read more…

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