Since Instagram’s launch in October 2010, users have posted a combined 357,442,820 #tbt and #ThrowbackThursday hashtags.
And while the popular hashtag is a staple in the Kardashian family’s social media diet, the trend has humble beginnings. Almost exactly four years ago, on the second Thursday in February 2011, a then 21-year-old Bobby Sanders posted the very first #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram, according to the company. And it looked like this:
“I honestly don’t recall even taking it or it being a good photo,” Sanders, now 25, said to TIME. “There was no real inspiration.”
Although viral encyclopedia Know Your Meme traces the first “Throwback Thursday,” often now shortened to tbt, sighting to 2003, the site says that the phrase didn’t gain popularity in the blogosphere until 2011.
Sanders, who currently works as a sales representative in Georgia, says he hadn’t seen the phrase prior to using it on his Instagram.
“I had never seen it done or said prior to that, but I didn’t think anything of it, or that it was that original honestly,” he says. “My favorite sunglasses company (Knockaround) had a sunglasses line called Throwbacks, so I had that name in my head… I guess with the filter, older cars as the subject, and it being Thursday it was just something I thought would be a funny hashtag, not something that would eventually catch on to the phenomenon it’s become.”
Sanders didn’t gain Internet fame and rarely Instagrams throwback posts.
“But if I do, I’m that snob who will post #ThrowbackThursday and not #tbt,” he says.
You’ve got to love consistency.
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