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Twitter hashtag turns 10, #nairobinews

Ten years ago the world was introduced to the Twitter hashtag, and it hasn’t looked back.

An icon of the social media age, the hashtag  started life as an organisational tool and now has become part of common dialect in the past decade.

According to Twitter, an average of 125 million hashtags are now shared daily, marking a massive jump in use.

In 2007, the most tweeted hashtag was used about 9,000 times, whereas the top hashtag of 2017 has been used over 300 million times, the company said.

The idea to use the # to organise tweets and groups on Twitter was first suggested on August 23, 2007, by former Google and Uber designer Chris Messina.


Messina posted a message asking fellow users what they thought about using the hashtag to organize people and messages.

At the time, the 140-character network had been around for more than a year and had hundreds of thousands of users.

Before the formal introduction of the hashtag as an organisation tool in September 2007, the social network had reached a number of milestones that would shape its use for a decade.

It had introduced @mentions and @replies, launched a mobile version, and defined Twitter associates as followers.


The first hashtag to be used on Twitter was Messina’s sample #barcamp. Barcamp is a loosely structured network of people that run user-generated conferences about technology and the internet.

The first Barcamp was held in 2015 in California. The largest ever one was in 2013 in Myanmar, which had 6,400 attendees.

In the first year after the invention of the hashtag icon, the most used was #noticias, the Spanish term for news.

Among the most common hashtags are #NowPlaying, which is often used for songs and has accumulated more than 1 billion tweets since it debuted in 2007, #FollowFriday, which started in 2009 and has been used more than half a billion times, and #ThrowbackThursday (including its shorter iteration #tbt), which has been tweeted 120 million times, according to Twitter.

The hashtag itself, used to be known as the “pound sign”. And for that, we are #nairobinews.