Hashtags come to Facebook

Facebook is considering introducing the hashtag functionality to their social media site. This latest update will allow users to index conversations around a particular topic. Facebook have not yet set a release date, however it has been speculated that they are working on this new update as we speak.

Is this a natural evolution from graph search? It seems that using the hashtag will allow for the extension of the current search facility. At the moment it does seem as though graph search is slightly limited, merely relying on the information that users input on their location, friends and likes.

Incorporating the hashtag could lead to many benefits. They are already being used to add humour to our statements, unite people, categorise conversations and pretty much everything else in-between! It could be used as a great search tool on Facebook around particular topics, for example #PopeFrancis.

However, many view the hashtag as Twitter’s most iconic feature. Is it something that Facebook should pinch? Well, the Hashtag was around long before the micro-site Twitter existed and they are already incorporated into the Facebook owned Instagram. Social media experts have speculated that Facebook hashtags will be distinct from Twitter hashtags. Opinions vary as to whether Facebook should make the change. The bottom line is that there is nothing really Twitter can do to stop Facebook incorporating it into their social media site. Is it just another factor contributing to the Facebook-Twitter war?

Facebook is not the only social network which has speculated about the future incorporation of hashtags. Flicker, the photo sharing media site, are the latest to announce the inclusion of hashtags. The social world of the hashtag seems to be expanding across many platforms, who will be next?

Image courtesy of Dan Moyle, hashtag, Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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