Aug 23, 2017

The Twitter hashtag is 10

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first Twitter hashtag. It was #barcamp, sent by former Google designer Chris Messina, in reference to a user-generated conferencing group he had helped create called BarCamp.

Why it matters: Hashtags have become a huge part of Internet culture and language. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake have famously spoofed Internet conversations via hashtag-only banter skits, and viral hashtags like #tbt (throwback Thursday) and #blessed have become integrated into everyday conversations in real life. Studies have suggested that nearly 3/4 of all internet users use hashtags to communicate. And hashtags have also spread to other Internet platforms, like Facebook, which adopted the feature in 2013.

Messina tweeted the hashtag as a recommendation for Twitter to create groups by automatically adding hyperlink metadata to any word that followed the "#" symbol. Twitter initially rejected the idea, saying hashtags were for "nerds," but eventually adopted the hashtag into its code in 2009.

New data from Twitter:

125 million hashtags are Tweeted per day on average.#ThrowbackThursday and #tbt have been Tweeted 120 million times and #ootd has been Tweeted over 2 million times.Five of the most-used hashtags over the past decade originate from fans tweeting during award shows. #MTVHottest, #MTVStars, #KCA, #iHeartAwards and #BestFanArmy have all been used over 3 billion times.The most Tweeted television show hashtag of all time is #TheWalkingDead and the most Tweeted about movie hashtag of all time is #StarWars. The most Tweeted global sporting event hashtag is the #WorldCup and The most Tweeted US sporting event is the #SuperBowl. The most Tweeted about league hashtag is #NFL and the most Tweeted team hashtag is #MUFC.

Go deeper

Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

2 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.