HAPPY BIRTHDAY #HASHTAG | Twitter’s popular tagging symbol is now 10 years old

August 23, 2017 - 8:00 AM
Twitter logo on a wall. InterAksyon file photo

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The symbol that was originally known as the pound sign or number sign commonly found on a numeric keypad celebrates 10 years on August 23, born out of the social media platform Twitter to become the popular hashtag.

Over the past ten years, it has evolved from a way to simply ‘tag’ or categorize Tweets, to one of the most recognizable and widely used symbols of the digital age. The hashtag has become part of our everyday speech, changed the nature of communication online, and become a powerful way to aggregate global conversations and movements.

Globally, an average of 125 million hashtags are shared every day on Twitter, helping people on Twitter to see what’s happening in the world and explore what is being talked about right now.

When something happens in the world, it happens on Twitter, and hashtags have helped to galvanize some of the most important moments in the past ten years.

On this day ten years ago, Chris Messina @chrismessina Tweeted #barcamp, the first time a hashtag was used on Twitter.

The first use of the hashtag symbol on Twitter

Since this first Tweet, the hashtag has become a part of the common vernacular. From monumental world events and awareness campaigns, to weekly throwback pics, it all happens with a hashtag, and it all happens on Twitter.

For the past ten years, Filipinos had incorporated hashtags into their everyday lives; it became significant to current events, the entertainment industry, and news / politics. Here are the top hashtags in the Philippines:

1. #PHElections
The hashtag #PHElections was launched in 2016 in light of the national elections; it was used as a tool to encourage people to be more active in the discourse on who is worthy to be the next President. Reports show that #PHElections garnered millions of Tweets.

2. #AlDub
The love team AlDub had garnered a lot of fans; this is the first time that the Filipinos had proven that they are in fact very active on Twitter. Reports show that the couple’s fan base of produce 11 million tweets in a day. The couple is also part of the Guinness World of Records for having more than 40 million Tweets. Since their rise to fame, there have been at least 350 hashtags related to the couple.

#OTWOL was the hashtag used for On the Wings of Love, a romantic comedy TV show in the Philippines; the story revolves around the life of Leah (Nadine Lustre) and Clark (James Reid). The show ran for a couple of months and launched both of their careers. Now, Nadine Lustre and James Reid are real life couple and very popular in the showbiz industry.

4. #KathNiel
#KathNiel is the official love team of Katherine Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. The love team began five years ago in the set of Growing Up. The actors said that there was no chemistry at the beginning however their friendship grew and they became real life partners. Both actors are now working on a teleserye together and had been inseparable ever since.

5. #EpilogueinManila
Korean POP or KPOP has a lot of fans worldwide and the Philippines had not been spared from this Korean phenomenon. The Korean boyband Bangtan Boys or BTS had their concert in the Philippines in July of 2016 and Filipino fans were not shy to express their admiration and love for the group through the #EpilogueinManila hashtag.

6. #LawinPh
#LawinPh was used after one of the strongest typhoon hit the Philippines in 2013. The typhoon made an impact because it left 18 people dead and caused damage to agriculture amounting to P10.2 billion.

7. #Haiyan
#Haiyan was the hashtag used after Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit the Philippines. The typhoon is said to be one of the strongest typhoon in recent history; the typhoon left an estimate of 10,000 casualties in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and other parts of the Visayas. People from around the world, including celebrities, expressed their sympathy for the victims.

8. #PapalVisitPH
The Pope visited the Philippines in January 2015. Smart Communications Inc. reported that there were more than 3.3 million Tweets related to the Papal visit; Tweets regarding the Pope’s visit peaked at 3,664 per second on January 15.

9. #MissUniverse2015
A lot of things happened in the 2015 Miss Universe contest. Steve Harvey’s mistake isn’t the only thing that made 2015’s Miss Universe memorable for the Filipinos; after decades, the Philippines finally won the prestigious contest.

10. #Walangpasok
Filipinos, especially students, are very fond of #Walangpasok; the hashtag is often used to announce that classes had been cancelled due to a typhoon or other unforeseeable events. Oftentimes, this hashtag trends during the typhoon season and usually makes it to the top of the trending list.

See below for some fun data on how the hashtag has evolved over the past ten years globally:

● Currently, there are an average of 125 million hashtags Tweeted per day.
● The most Tweeted hashtag in 2007 was used around 9,000 times. The most-used hashtag so far in 2017 was used over 300 million times.

The first #Followfriday was on Jan 16, 2009, and there have been over half a billion #FF (or #followfriday) uses since then.

● The first use of #nowplaying/#np was a Tweet about the song “Open your Heart” by De Lavender Diamond in 2007.
● #NowPlaying (or #np) has been Tweeted more than 1 billion times.

Award Shows
● Five of the biggest hashtags of the past ten years stem from fans Tweeting while they watch award shows – whether Tweeting to vote for an award or live Tweeting the event, together, these five hashtags were used over 3 billion times.
○ #MTVHottest
○ #MTVStars
○ #KCA
○ #iHeartAwards
○ #BestFanArmy

Some of the biggest hashtags used to vote for artists included:
○ #EMABiggestFansJustinBieber
○ #EMABiggestFans1D
○ #vote5sos
○ #PushAwardsKathNiels

● The most Tweeted television show hashtag of all time is #TheWalkingDead
● The most Tweeted about movie hashtag of all time is #StarWars.

● The most Tweeted global sporting event hashtag is the #Euro2016.
● The most Tweeted sporting event hashtag in the US is the #SuperBowl.
● The most Tweeted about league hashtag is #NFL.
● The most Tweeted team hashtag is #MUFC.

The most Tweeted gaming hashtag of all time is トレクル (TreCru/Treasure Cruise) with over 269 million uses of the hashtag.

Join the celebration on August 23rd by Tweeting with #Hashtag10. This hashtag will activate a 24-hour custom emoji to celebrate the 10th birthday of the hashtag.