BTW is one of the older and more popular internet acronyms, used for abbreviating the phrase “by the way”.
It is used for digressing from the topic at hand, bringing a new thread into the conversation.
Origin of the term
The exact origin of “BTW” is unknown, although it was already in use by 1989, and it would occur on sites like Usenet throughout the 1990’s.
The acronym was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2002.
Spread of the term
“BTW” entered the mainstream along with the rest of digital communication, with its popularity boosted by the appearance of SMS technology in the 2000’s, and later the emergence of social media platforms.
Today, “BTW” is used in all sorts of contexts, ranging from tweets, to direct messages, emails and texts.