It took a long time but Facebook finally joined all the other social networks in the hashtag club. If you are on Facebook you can now include hashtags in your posts and comments, search them using the tool bar, and compose messages directly from the hashtag feed. This is kind of a big deal and I’ll tell you why…
First I should explain what a hashtag is and why they’re so dang cool. A hashtag is really just a pound sign (#) with a word or group of words that follow it. Almost all social media sites recognize these tags and allow users to search and track them. If tracking them sounds fun, here’s an old post of mine on how to setup a custom stream in Hootsuite to track hashtags.
Now you can use the standard search function within Facebook to seek out hashtags. Here’s what that looks like:
On sites like Twitter and Google+ you can easily find trending hashtags but that’s not yet available on Facebook. For now you will see posts from high-ranked users (like Mari Smith below) show up in the hashtag feed. High-ranked users have a large following and Facebook is giving them priority over other users.
You can also compose messages directly from the hashtag feed. Here’s what that looks like:
This is a simple and powerful feature. All you do is click in the status update field and it will automatically include the hashtag you have searched.
Facebook also allows users to click hashtags that originate from other sites like Instagram or Twitter. Here’s what that looks like:
The introduction of hashtags on Facebook will change the way users experience the social network giant. Information and topics will be much easier to track and will change how users connect, but not everyone is tickled with the change.
How do you feel about Facebook hashtags? Good, bad, or don’t give a hoot?!