In the past, the ‘@’ symbol was just used to separate your email id from the domain name. Then Twitter adopted it, and now it seems to be present on the entire social media network. So what caused the evolution and the success of ‘@’?
It started in the year 2006, when a freelance designer used the ‘@’ symbol on Twitter for the first time. The purpose was the same for which it is used today; to give a reply to another Twitter user. Obviously, the format was a little different at that time, but it paved way for the symbol to develop as a universal language for communication. And it is not just Twitter where you can see it, it is everywhere.
In the initial days, the ‘@’ symbol just appeared more complex to Twitter users, who already did not think that highly of the social network. People who came across tweets failed to grasp them because they contained RT, MT, hash tags and the like. However, with the passage of time, things did change and people began to comprehend the tweet language. Today, twitter has so many users, it can actually be regarded as the second biggest social network in the world.
Three years after Twitter officially introduced the @ symbol, Facebook started using it officially as well. This took place in 2009, when other Facebook users could be referenced with the symbol. Once someone did this, they would be notified the next time they would log onto their accounts. Another four years later, LinkedIn also joined the crowd. As far as Google Plus is concerned, they prefer the ‘+’ sign for this purpose, but since old habits are so hard to break, the ‘@’ symbol works just as fine. And just last week, Tumblr has also adopted the symbol.
Just like the ‘@’ symbol, the hash tag sign is another common part of communicating on social media. Be it Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest or the like, you can use the symbol for any trending topic of conversation. There are plenty of other options that are similar as well such as repin, retweet and revine.
Even though social networks first saw the ‘@’ symbol with Twitter, it can actually be traced back to many past years in history where it was used as representation of accounting units and beverages measurement. However, its true popularity was achieved when Twitter got hold of it.