The pound sign (#) used to be a thing we pressed at the end of entering numbers in an automated system. This all started to change in 2007 with the introduction of hashtags which used the pound sign as a folksonomic tag.
According to an infographic from OfferPop, a social marketing platform provider, since it was first proposed for use on Twitter, the hashtag has evolved into a “hyperlinked verb” and a shorthand tool for message optimization. Simply put, it’s a way for social media users and marketers alike to organize information. Kind of like the tags and categories on a blog or website.
The OfferPop infographic charts the history of the hashtag from its organic inception to its current position as a pop culture and marketing phenomenon. Interestingly enough, the hashtag took off during the San Diego wildfires in 2007 but weren’t officially incorporated into the Twitter infrastructure until 2009.
Now hashtags have become a social media standard being used to organize content on Google +, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and even Flickr. It’s even become a mainstay in integrated marketing campaigns for brands looking to capture the attention of social media audiences. In fact, half of the 2013 Super Bowl commercials contained a hashtag. And you know you’ve hit the big time when there’s an SNL spoof.
Check out the infographic below.