Let’s be honest: Twitter would be a sad, lonely place without the hashtag. Whether you’re tweeting about the news, awards shows, or even political campaigns, (or only Game of Thrones), hashtags are the ideal way to connect with people tweeting about the same things. As of today, we’ve been using that little pound sign to do so for 10 glorious years. That’s right, it’s the hashtag’s 10th anniversary on Twitter!
Even though it’s not technically a #ThrowbackThursday yet, we wanted to take a look back on some of Twitter’s greatest hashtag hits. Because even though 125 million hashtags are shared everyday according to Twitter, some stand out above the rest.
You know it, you love it, you got into explosive arguments with your coworkers about it: the dress. The debate over whether this striped, lacy number was blue and black or white and gold consumed the internet in 2015, and Twitter was not immune to the hype. Depending on which colors their eyes thought to be true, people would also tweet #whiteandgold or #blueandblack. Eventually the manufacturer of the controversial dress broke the news that it really was royal blue and black, but #TheDress still lives on in its hashtag.
Few hashtags carry as much social importance than #BlackLivesMatter. The hashtag began after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. In 2016, the Center for Media and Social Impact estimated the hashtag had been used more than 41 million times. #BlackLivesMatter sparked an entire movement dedicated to exposing how Black Americans are systematically and socially disenfranchised.
#ImWithHer was a simple and totally effective way to show support for Hillary Clinton. But here’s a plot twist: it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s official campaign slogan at all. The hashtag organically took off on Twitter after the campaign debuted a bumper sticker with the phrase.
All 20 of the Oscar nominees for leading actress and actor were white in 2015 , and that didn’t sit right with April Reign. So she started the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to call out the Academy for their lack of representation. The hashtag led to a boycott of the awards by influential Hollywood stars like Spike Lee and Will Smith. The same thing happened in 2016, so #OscarsSoWhite got a sequel.
This hashtag is the definition of classic. It’s the way people have publicly remembered the good old days for nearly a decade. According to Recode, the first time someone tweeted #ThrowbackThursday was in 2008. Twitter user @brownsugababy tweeted about her nostalgia over the Lil Cease and Lil Kim’s song “Crush on You.” Honestly, same.
Okay, so you might not know this one, but trust us — it’s important. #BarCamp is actually the first hashtag to ever appear on Twitter. Former Uber and Google employee Chris Messina tweeted a proposal to use the pound symbol as a way to organize groups. Then, he gave the example #BarCamp.
From there, as they say, the rest was history. Happy anniversary, hashtag! We’re #blessed to have you.