Facebook and hashtags, maybe a little late to start working on introducing this already widely used system to Facebook but better late then never, I’m all for it and I will explain why later. Let me first explain why hashtags have become very popular on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Google+.
Hashtags are an amazing tool for targeting audiences, subjects, interests, topics and really, just about anything.
Twitter introduced the hashtag system in August 2007 and in 2013 is widely used by many brands, agencies and the general public in a creative and informative way. It has almost become the ‘norm’ for the younger generation on social networks to add a hashtag for every update post or picture they upload.
A few tip and tricks on how to use #hashtags to enable you to understand the use and functionality of this system to avoid a PR disaster of the kind that struck Susan Boyle’s album launch party last year. #susanalbumparty
A #hashtag is always one continuous word, for example #onewordhashtag, as soon as a space is used this splits the text and wont be recognised as one whole hashtag. If you are looking at hash tagging something longer, use capitals to make it easier to read, e.g. #OneWordHashtag.
Facebook adopting hashtags has a few areas of concern while it is rumoured to be in testing phase. Firstly, you cannot search posts in open graph search, only people, business pages, interests and apps therefore this would need to be implemented into the search functionality. Secondly, unlike Twitter where most tweets are public, Facebook’s private profiles and those that have customised who can view their posts, will affect search results. There are a couple options to bypass this, such as only displaying the post but not the author or vice versa, the author but not the post as is currently the way with Instagram. I am sure this may raise some eyebrows and privacy concerns for Facebook users.
Ultimately this is a great move for Facebook, especially for businesses that will have the ability to drill down their target market even more using the hashtag system along with the very useful open graph search and most definitely escalate the feud between Facebook and Twitter.
This could be a win win situation for Facebook as users who are already heavily using hashtags on other platforms eg. Twitter and Instagram will be able to share their post to Facebook with functional hashtags.
What do you think about Facebook introducing hashtags, will you use them?