NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Happy 10th anniversary to the hashtag!
Of course, the pound sign has been around much longer, but exactly one decade ago, it was redefined as a way to organize online conversations.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman asked people in Union Square about their favorite hashtags.
“My favorite hashtag? Probably summer,” one woman said.
“Maybe YOLO, like you only live once,” a man added.
“Hashtag goals,” another woman said.
Our favorite social media symbol turned 10 Wednesday, but depending on your date of birth, you might call it something else.
“I don’t use it, but I’d call it a number sign. But I’m old-world.” said one woman.
“Pound sign,” a mother said.
“Hashtag,” her daughter added.
It’s name might divide us, but for 10 years the hashtag has been bringing us together.
“It kind of organizes information. Something a lot of people would check out in one spot,” said one man.
The character as we know it today originated in chat rooms, but got its big break from a web developer on Twitter.
“Twitter came along about a decade ago in 2007, and this guy Chris Messina was like, how do we collect conversations on this new platform?” Mashable Editor Lance Ulanoff explained. “The pound sign is one of the things you use in text, so he just applied that and the rest is history.”
It’s since spread to Facebook, Instagram and yes… even real life conversation.
“I use a hashtag every time I post something on Instagram,” one woman said.
“I usually hashtag 20 or 30 times even,” a man added. “If it’s a good post, why not?”
“Now, it’s like you can’t imagine it without letters next to it,” Ulanoff said.
Letters like “TBT” for “throw back Thursday,” and “OOTD” for “outfit of the day.”
So whether you tweet it, text it, or Instagram it, it seems like the hashtag is here to stay. The only question is: What will be trending next?
The top hashtag on Twitter is #FollowFriday, which was first used in January 2009. There have been more than half a billion #FollowFriday or #FF references since then.
The second is #NowPlaying, which was first used to tweet about the song, “Open Your Heart” by Lavender Diamond. And the third is #ThrowBackThursday, along with its abbreviation #TBT.