YouTube sensation tells the hashtag tale - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Twitter meets trombone: a lesson in hashtag history

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Paul Nowell, simply known on YouTube as "Paul the Trombonist," explains how the #hashtag originated in his latest video. (Source: YouTube) Paul Nowell, simply known on YouTube as "Paul the Trombonist," explains how the #hashtag originated in his latest video. (Source: YouTube)

(RNN) - "Hashtags" have become second nature to the Twitter-savvy techies in the social media world. What many may see as a common pound sign, twitter users - or "tweeps" - perceive as a way to group tweets about certain topics or emotions, allowing users to search trends.

But how did adding a simple "#" to the beginning of a word or phrase grow into a social media staple? YouTube personality "Paul the Trombonist" attempts to educate tweeps and non-tweeters alike in his newest video.

Paul Nowell, a freelance trombonist in the Los Angeles area, is known on YouTube for his big brass sound. His videos frequently feature contemporary trombone performances next to his sidekick, a toy banana.

For his latest project, Nowell combined his trombone talent with a lesson in social media history.

In his video "History of the Hashtag," Nowell shares his research and tells viewers that the first hashtag originated with a simple suggestion sent over the Twittersphere. The tweet, written by Google developer Chris Messina in August 2007, simply read "how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?"

Nowell, through the art of song, goes on to explain how hashtags were first widely used when tweeps tweeted about the 2007 wildfires in San Diego (#sandiegofire). Tweeps could instantly see all tweets about the fires by clicking on the phrase with the hashtag. #convenient

The video also explains how hashtags went on to become a global trend during the 2009 #IranElection. At one point, users sent 221,744 tweets about the election in one hour. #international

Keep in mind, Nowell's soulful trombone skills are showcased throughout the video. #jazzy

Today, hashtags are found in numerous social media spheres: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and text messaging. #phenomenon

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