Being on Twitter since 2007, i had the chance to watch the birth of the hashtag, with Chris Messina proposing to use the “pound” sign for grouping related information, along with Stowe Boyd’s later efforts with microsyntax.
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— ?ChrisMessina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
Hashtags mutated as users started to use them to add context on their updates, closer to a folksonomy practice than their initial purpose. Later adopted by Instagram and Facebook, they became a part of Internet culture, so it was a matter of time until advertising started to exploit them and, as usually, not having the slightest clue what they are or how to use them properly.
From campaigns that use them just to look cooler to poorly chosen hashtags, it’s the age of #Hashtagploitation.