The Cashtag Turns Nine

This tweet from Josh made me laugh out loud today:

Afghanistan is going to pay for the tax cuts.

What makes Twitter magical is snark like that bursting on my iPhone screen. The tweet needed no hashtag.

The hashtag on Twitter turned 10 years old yesterday.

What made Twitter special in the early years was the open API that allowed people to build things into Twitter.

If the hashtag is 10 years old, the Cashtag and Stocktwits is now 9.

In the summer of 2008 I thought Twitter for finance would be a great idea. Today the cool kids call it FinTwit.

I started Stocktwits with Soren Macbeth to get financial Twitter going. In 2009 we moved off Twitter when we realized there would be no way to control our destiny on Twitter.

The unique idea we had was to put a $ in front of tickers instead of a # so as to create a stream of intent for people that wanted to talk about stocks and markets.

I remember pinging Fred Wilson (Blackberry to Blackberry) that $RIMM was the way to organize discussion and content around Blackberry, not #Blackberry.

He loved the idea and we started chatting about $RIMM and $AAPL back and forth on Twitter.

Today, hundreds of thousands of messages are shared each day on Stocktwits using $ like $AAPL. I don’t have the numbers for Twitter.

Chris Corriveau (our original CTO at Stocktwits) coined the word cashtag.

For years I would get upset if I saw people using the $ on Twitter and not using Stocktwits.

Today, I just get a sense of pride knowing we added this bit of language to the social web.


Also published on Medium.