You’ll have to excuse the wordplay in the title, but we just couldn’t resist!Â Hashtag trackingÂ is a recent development, as the “hashtag” as an identifier has its origins in 1970 assembly language, to denote “immediate address mode”. It was called a “hash symbol”Â way backÂ then.
In 1978 it was used in the C programming language for special keywords, and later used in IRC networks to label groups and topics. Chris Messina, an Open Source Advocate, is credited with the first hashtag tweet in Twitter, when he said:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
â€”Chris Messina,Â (“factoryjoe”), August 23, 2007
Stowe Boyd coined the term “hash tag” in 2007, when he wrote a blog post aboutÂ “Hash Tags = Twitter Groupings”. And in 2009, Twitter started to hyperlink all hashtags in tweets to Twitter search results. “Trending Topics” were introduced in 2010.
Since then hashtags have taken off in all social media, appear on products, in television broadcasts, political events, and on advertising. Brands such as Gatorade have begun registering hashtag phrases, although there is some debate in legal circles whether hashtag trademark registering will hold up in courtÂ â€“ especially when it represents a phrase that is considered common language (someone named Donald TrumpÂ tried to trademark “You’re Fired” years ago, andÂ lost the case).