Now you can #hashtag away on Facebook. Following in the footsteps of Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, Facebook will soon allow all users to incorporate clickable hashtags into their posts on the social networking site. Now Facebook users, too, will be able to click on hashtags to follow real-time conversations about topics that interest them. In a blog post yesterday Facebook hinted at the potential for huge user adoption:
“During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook – roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night. The recent “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show. And this year’s Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts.”
Introducing Hashtags on Facebook
Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #NBAFinals
Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram
Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results
Users will still be able to control the audience for individual posts, even those posts that incorporate hashtags. The New York Times’ Bits blog suggests that Facebook’s hashtag service is already available to about 20% of Facebook users, while other users will gain access gradually. Facebook also mentioned that additional features, such as trending hashtags and improved insights, are coming soon.
Though marketers can’t purchase hashtags just yet, Mashable suggests Facebook is likely to use hashtags as an added advertising revenue stream in the future. This could be a tricky endeavor given that most Facebook posts are private, not public. For now, though, Facebook is encouraging brands to use hashtags to promote their posts in an organic, not a paid, way.
What do you think about Facebook incorporating #hashtags? Are hashtags an appropriate addition to the social network or do you think they’ll just be a nuisance?