Chris Messina is credited as the man who invented the hashtag and now he’s joining Uber in a role that involves, “nurturing, expanding, and championing on behalf of the Uber Developer Platform ecosystem.”
In a post on Medium, Messina said he joined Twitter on Monday as the company’s first Develope Experience Lead.
Messina didn’t just invent the hashtag, he is also a former Googler.
Messina pictures Uber as more than a taxi and ride-hailing service. He talks candidly about the future of UberRush, a delivery service, and UberEats, which delivers food, as examples of the “potential” of Uber’s platform.
Here’s the key part of his medium post — emphasis ours:
“Uber is now a network facilitator built on the widespread proliferation of smart phones, GPS, and excess vehicle inventory in the built environment. But that is where it begins, not where it ends.
As I see and understand it, Uber exists at the beginning of the inevitable shift from an internet experienced on screens to an internet that is present in and connects the everyday things that are all around us.
This is the internet that Mark Zuckerberg is partially describing when he writes about “building a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work”.
The question is not if, but when—and importantly, how—we will interact and engage with this emerging era of the internet.
Like Facebook did for people, Uber will build the foundational platform that will enable people to manipulate and control the world around them. But Uber can’t do it all, and this is where the Uber Developer Platform comes in.”
While Uber builds the framework, developers will handle the rest.
Messina joined Google in January 2010 and left in August 2013. During that time, he was responsible for building the Google Developers program.
Messina, again comparing the company to Facebook, argues that “the future arrives in mysterious and abrupt ways, and in the present, is often a messy and rambunctious guest.”
He continues: “The Uber Developer Platform is the vehicle I’ve chosen to help bring this future closer to our present reality, and to enable more people to participate in the unfolding of the coming future.”
While he has experience in the developer field, The New York Times explains how he became famous as the “hash godfather.” Here’s how it went down:
“Mr. Messina is no ordinary Twitter user. The self-described “hash godfather,” he officially invented the Twitter hashtag in August 2007, when he sent out a Twitter message suggesting that the pound symbol be used for organizing groups on Twitter. (For example, if attendees at the South by Southwest music and technology conference all add #sxsw to their messages, they can more easily search and sort themselves on Twitter.) Though the idea took awhile to catch on, it quickly snowballed — on Twitter and offline.”
Here’s the tweet that started it all:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007