The hashtag as we know it was born in August 2007, when designer Chris Messina, the self-described “hash godfather,” asked his Twitter followers what they thought of using the pound sign to group conversations on Twitter.
Six years later, hashtags are completely integral to social media, having spread beyond Twitter to Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and even farther (including real-world conversations). Hashtags add context, humor, organization and the potential for virality to your tweets.
But what was the life of the hashtag before Twitter made it famous?
The following infographic created by graphic designer Angela Liao of 20px depicts the journey of the hashtag pre-Twitter.