When Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first Tweet on March 21, 2006 by posting "just setting up my twttr" Dorsey and his colleagues were simply looking for a way to send text messages on their cell phones.
just setting up my twttr ? Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006There was no need for any sort of organization or classification system for posts on the newly launched social networking site, and in fact, that's how Twitter was designed. According to Dorsey, "...we came across the word 'twitter', and it was just perfect. The definition was 'a short burst of inconsequential information, and that's exactly what the product was." The organic, community-driven instantaneous sharing of brief messages and thoughts was how the founding fathers envisioned this microblogging site; a sort of online SMS text messaging system.
200 Million Users, 140 Million Daily TweetsFast forward to 2011, where the almost 200 million worldwide users send over 140 million tweets daily, and the need for some sort of tool to bring order to all of this information is clear. (340 million Tweets a day in March, 2012.)
Hashtags Started By a Single Tweet and a BlogThanks to a Tweet by Chris Messina (@chrismessina), a Twitter user from the early years, the hashtag was successfully pitched to the online community as a way to organize messages into meaningful groups. Hashtags have since been embraced by users worldwide as a way to classify the often-frantic exchange of thoughts and information on the social networking site.
# Anyone?On August 23, 2007 at 12:25pm, Messina Tweeted "how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?"
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As inTwo days after this game-changing Tweet, Messina wrote two posts on his blog, Factoryjoe.com expanding on his idea to create a "whisper circle" to exchange these little messages. (In 2007, Tweets were commonly referred to as "whispers".)
#barcamp [msg]? ? Chris Messina? (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007