One of the friendlier pieces of social news this week (that’s not Snapchat slump related) was the celebration of ten years of the hashtag. That humble little symbol that identifies messages on a specific topic blew out the virtual candles after a decade of activism (#blacklivesmatter), brand brilliance (Always’ #LikeAGirl) epic brand fails (#myNYPD) & adaptations (Hashflags? Birds Eye Mashtags?? Cashtags?).
A screen grab of Chris Messina’s message suggesting using # (pound) for groups, and that it’s used 125 million times a day on Twitter has been well-documented in the birthday coverage, so, we’ve dug a little deeper and looked back at 2007 to see what else was going on in the tech world.
It was a tumultuous year where the mortgage bubble burst, Slovenia adopted the euro, Harry Potter finished, No Country for Old Men gave us that dodgy Bardem barnet, Mad Men & Flight of the Conchords jostled for space in the TV schedule & Amy Winehouse was still with us to sing about Rehab.
In social? Yep, the hashtag was starting to make #waves, but what else was going on?
- StumbleUpon (content aggregator) was acquired by EBay
- Facebook reached one million active users in the UK & allowed developers to get us hooked on games such as Farmville & Mafia Wars thanks to pesky widgets
- Tumblr came tumbling into the social domain
- MySpace had a multi-billion-dollar valuation. Yep, seriously
- FriendFeed? Justin.TV?
- Google+ launched
- Hadoop sent the software heads in a spin
- Airbnb gave us all a new non-hotel option when travelling
- IBM started working on their AI supercomputer, Watson
- The Amazon Kindle dropped into our hands, but didn’t stop us enjoying analogue, in your hands actual books…thanks to Amazon
- Oh, the iPhone was launched in the U.S
Really though, it was the last entry that has truly helped shape the online, social world we live in now. It gave us a new way to access social media sites and apps, ON THE MOVE, like a powerful computer in our tech-craving paws.
10 years is a long time in social, and that stroke of typographic genius has not only brought us together, but from a business perspective is still a strong way to underpin a branding or marketing campaign.
Simple to use, they encourage engagement & increase brand awareness. However, don’t forget your metrics. Whether they’re sponsored or not, you can identify influencers, gauge what your audience is responding to and track reach/impressions.
Happy birthday hashtag. It’s been esocialnal.