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Former Google dev who created the hashtag picked up by Uber

chris messina hashtag uber
Chris Messina is noted as the creator of the hashtag Image used with permission by copyright holder
The now ubiquitous hashtag has infiltrated every major social media service, leaving a legion of nonplussed bystanders in its wake. Originally adopted by Twitter users to sort through topics, the idea for the HTML-activated feature came from Chris Messina. The former Google designer, who didn’t even bother to patent the hashtag after suggesting it on Twitter in 2007, has now been snapped up by Uber — reports Business Insider.

Messina announced his new position at the ride-hailing service through a Medium post. “I’ll be the first Developer Experience Lead on the Developer Platform team,” explains the 34-year-old in the blog post.

In his own words, Messina is filling a newly created position at Uber that involves “nurturing, expanding, and championing on behalf of the Uber Developer Platform ecosystem.”

Throughout the piece, entitled ‘Today is my first day at Uber,’ Messina draws parallels between his new company and Facebook. Making references to Uber’s new ventures — including UberEATS and UberRUSH — he concludes: “Like Facebook did for people, Uber will build the foundational platform that will enable people to manipulate and control the world around them.”

Messina spent over two years at Google, during which he helped position Google Developers as the central hub for the tech giant’s developer tools, services, and documentation.

Commenting on his hashtag revelation in 2013, he told the Wall Street Journal that Twitter rejected his idea: “[Twitter] told me flat out, ‘These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.’” During the course of the next few years, Twitter would be proven wrong as its users took to the hashtag in droves, transforming it into an integral feature for the platform.

Messina characteristically closes out the piece announcing his new job with a hashtag, this one devoted to his new employer: “I can’t wait for 2016 to get started. #UberOn.”

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