It Was Not Always There: The History Behind a Hashtag

It Was Not Always There: The History Behind a Hashtag

The symbol # in the modern world has one meaning – it’s a hashtag. But how did it come to this? In this article, you will get the answer. Also, you’ll know how to write hashtags correctly and gain big benefits by using the Hashtag Generator tool.

The Path Through Ages or Evolution of The Hash Figure


The hash symbol has a couple of meanings: it is also known as the number sign and the pound sign. The origin of all this goes way back to the past and has several directions:

  • The first mention of the number sign dates to the late 19th century. The manuals for some typewriter models included this figure. As well as texts on accounting.
  • Other version is that the Baudot Code for telegraphs had the symbol #. To type this, a person had to enter the same keystroke combination as for a pound sterling mark. This explains why and where the phrase “pound sign” comes from. Although, this is not the only reference.
  • Even older roots lead straight to Latin and the word “libra pondo” (pound weight). This expression is abbreviated as lb, which in handwriting looks like ℔ with one stroke at the top. At some point, probably from fast writing, another stroke appeared at the bottom.

However, for each example, there is no strong evidence to say this is a confirmed fact. So, all we have to do is just keep it in mind and consider it like a pre-era of the hashtags.


With the beginning of technology growth in the second half of the 20th century, the hash sign became more common. In the 1960s, telephones began to be modified with keypads, and engineers added the mark # into it. According to some reports, it even has the name “the octothorpe” because the figure has eight ends, just like an octopus has eight legs. Thorpe in “octothorpe” is the last name of the athlete and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe. By other information, the word has no meaning at all.

Also, the hash was included in the programming language to indicate special keywords. In 1988 Internet Relay Chat (IRC) allowed users to search for topics of interest using the # symbol. Finding specific content quickly and easily, connecting groups of people by their pursuits and concerns – this is the purpose of hashtags. This happened at that moment, though we can’t call it a proper beginning. Moreover, it still took more than 20 years to make it an official instrument in the virtual world. But it’s fair to say that this point of the forming hashtags as we know them.

Mass use

The new century brought new technologies, and the Internet, and social media platforms, developed especially quickly. It is a good time to introduce the tags to a wider audience and use this feature to group and find posts by keywords. However, app developers weren’t in a hurry and didn’t think much about it. It all came down to regular users. In 2007, a guy named Chris Messina wrote on his profile on Twitter (currently known as X) the next message:

“How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg].”

This was a direct suggestion to implement the system based on the one on IRC. Shortly after that, hashtags proved their worth in the best possible way. During the 2007 San Diego fires, a lot of users began to communicate, warn, and share news about the current situation in the region using tags. A couple more clever-use cases, and in 2009 Twitter finally “gave in” and introduced the search by hashtag word.

Now the hash symbol is present in every social media network, including one of the people’s favorites, Instagram. The modern goals of writing the tags are various:

  • Show the content to more audiences.
  • Reach followers and potential clients for brands.
  • Bring people together to speak out on important issues.
  • Fast search for a certain topic.
  • To express emotions.

The hash, number, pound mark, called it like you want to, has come a long way to become more than just a simple sign or function for grouping data. Tags are spreading all over the world, in some cases extending beyond device displays.  Even the word “hashtag” was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2014. 

Special tools such as automatic Hashtag Generator are built around them, which is the next part of this article.

How to Make A Viral Social Media Post by Writing A Keywords?

Over the years, there have been millions and millions of hashtags attached to messages, photos, and videos. The factor of popularity comes into play: a random tag won’t work as well as one that is already in use by many others. To see all the possible options you have, you need the Instagram hashtag generator from the Inflact service.

Type any word associated with your content in the search bar, and an AI-powered generator will find hundreds of similar matches, including related hashtags. All tags are divided into groups depending on frequency and popularity. Insta users are allowed to include up to 30 hashtags in their posts, so here is a strategy tip:

  • Write 2-3 of the most popular key phrases for a wider crowd.
  • The main hashtags should be average in use. Mostly they perform the best.
  • It’s worth adding a couple of rare ones for a specific audience.

The pattern is always the same, no matter what you want to upload. Select the best engaging and trending options from the Hashtag Generator instrument, relevant to the subject of your content. This is how you can achieve the maximum reach by using keywords and the hash symbol.

More things you need to know about the tool:

  • The Ability to also generate tags from photos and URLs.
  • You could enter up to 5 keywords in the insert line for better targeting of search results.
  • Tags analytics available.

Hashtag Generator is an easy-to-use online instrument, with a constantly updated database. Get familiar with the Generator and make sure your photos and clips will receive the attention they need.


The history of the hash symbol is quite interesting. It has evolved from the regular sign into something bigger and more powerful called a hashtag. And you can see it for yourself by using the IG Hashtag Generator.

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