Before Twitter came along, who even knew what the point of the hashtag was? Perhaps computer gamers? But 10 years on and the character has become an international symbol for social activism and bad jokes.

Once used exclusively as a way to organize conversations on Twitter, hashtags have grown in popularity and use. Today, many journalists, industry leaders, PR pros, marketers, influencers and consumers use hashtags to uncover breaking news and trends, find like-minded people to talk with and boost their brands.

Hashtags instigated many trends, from charitable #IceBucketChallenge fails to #ThrowbackThursday (please no more), to hashtags that encouraged peace, love and unity with #OneLoveManchester. Of course, the Internet wouldn’t be the Internet without some monumental fails. Among some of the most horric of them is the hashtag created for Susan Boyle #susanalbumparty, which caught on for obvious but unintended reasons. Perhaps her PR team should have capitalised each word? #SusanAlbumParty – would have solved the problem.

Hashtags have changed social media. Today, Twitter users send more than 125 million hashtags a day, according to the company, which is celebrating the milestone with — what else — a dedicated hashtag and custom emoji.

Happy Birthday #. Here’s to another 10 years. #StayBlessed.