If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then #ShameOnYou.
I’m referring to the long awaited arrival of Facebook hashtags, #finally. For those of you who live under a rock, the hashtag is any phrase typed with no spaces, preceded by a pound sign (#). For example, #example. Get it? #movingon. Let’s talk about how the introduction of hashtags is going to affect the Facebook space. Purposes include conversing around a certain topic (like #sports), or for silly purposes like #thankgoditsfriday .
Of course, it’s not that hashtags haven’t already been used by Facebook users. But now, instead of un-clickable, dead text, phrases that are hashtagged on Facebook will now link to other posts with the same hashtag, sorted by relevance (ie: friends first, then proximity, etc.) According to a news report, Facebook will also be rolling out other features, all with the same end goal–to stir up and catalyze public discussion, to make it easier for individuals interested in certain topics to find like minded people to discuss with, and ultimately to increase engagement conversations on Facebook.
The hashtag in the past has actually seen mixed reviews from Facebook users, who say that the hashtag should stay in Twitter. It’s true that in the past, Twitter and Facebook were directed towards different audiences and different purposes: Facebook for casual friend relationships and audiences and Twitter more for broadcasting and public figures, hence the more extensive hashtag usage. However, as both social media sites have developed, the line drawn between their audiences has blurred, and they’ve found themselves competing for the same users. Instagram, Facebook’s recent purchase, had already been using hashtags for a while, so it was really only a matter of time.
Regardless of whether you like hashtags or not, or whether you even know what hashtags are or not, your Facebook experience will now be enhanced. In addition to being able to click on hashtags to view the public discussion, users may be able to go to pages of interest, where Facebook will be consolidating relevant hashtags for easy access for reading. Sort of a Quora-like creation. #speculation. Who knows? All we know is that it’s going to be an exciting story to watch unfold.
See what the press and other people are saying about it here and here.
Share your #thoughts #comments #expectations in the comments below! Share this article on Facebook with the new hashtags! Let’s be the first ones in that public discussion