How and why did the # get chosen for use by Twitter and other social media sites?
Why was this chosen in preference to other symbols? It is even used on recorded phone messages etc eg "Please enter your pin number/security code etc followed by the # key"
Good question, John. To me that symbol had always been the pound sign but now it is called hash tag on Twitter. I had no idea what they were talking about when they said hash tag but finally realized it was the pound sign ...as us older folks know it to be LOL. I'm curious too the reasoning behind choosing # in lieu of other symbols.
Faith, it took me ages to realise what "hash tag" meant. We must be showing our age
Yes ...it's hard to keep up with all the ever-changing and latest "thing" LOL You're right about that ..we are showing it. I think my 7 year old grabddaughter is more in the know than I am at times.
Hi Jodah. The only reason I can think of why the # was chosen is because most phones have only the # or the * symbols so that may be why it was chosen whether one is on the phone or the computer. This sounds too simple, though. There must be a more complicated reason.
I looked about and only got hints. The purpose is to create a group originally as a unique word like a business name. Anyway, the hint is it is not a number and not a usual type written symbol like $, &, and others common to create a emoticon. Its common meaning is pound with weight where lb is used more oft.
# is the symbol for a gate or a boundary. After that boundary starts a code. The code ends with a space. The use of this codices comes from machine language as used in the 70s and 80s.
For what it's worth, this is what I learned during my study at the university when computing was still in its infancy:) Good question, Jodah.
I googled and found that it was first used by a twitter user, Chris Messina, on August 23, 2007 when he proposed to use the sign # for referring to groups on twitter site. It has been accepted many other users and became popular in subsequent years.
The sign # is originally used by Americans to refer to the weight pound whereas L with a stroke in its center is used by UK to refer to the currency pound. But computers adopted the # symbol in place of L with stroke for referring to currency pound. But manual writers always use the UK symbol only to refer to pound currency.
Thank you for Googling this Venkat. I did know it was used for pound originally.
Thanks, John, for selecting my answer as the best answer even though there was a typo mistake in the last sentence of first para ('by' was missing there).
This is interesting. What amazes me is Twitter was around in 2007! Man, am I getting old!!
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