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Hashtag creator leaving Google for start-up

Chris Messina, who developed the hashtag, will join a tiny six-person start-up

Messina will leave Google to join a digital art collection start-up called NeonMob.
Messina will leave Google to join a digital art collection start-up called NeonMob.

The Google developer advocate who created the popular hashtag is to leave the search engine behemoth to join a small six-person start-up.

Chris Messina spearheaded a number of initiatives at Google, including the Google Developers site, and a redesign for Google Profiles, but is best known for developing the hashtag which has flourished on Twitter and Facebook since being created in 2007.

A hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the # symbol. Used as a form of metadata tag, it provides a means of grouping messages with the same hashtagged words.

Messina will leave Google to join a digital art collection start-up called NeonMob, heading up the community and growth department. He says on his personal blog that he believes the company is "building an important new platform for digital creatives and art enthusiasts".