Facebook introduces hashtags

News: Facebook hash tag

July 01, 2013

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It’s taken them long enough, but on the 12th June 2013 Facebook finally launched hashtags, following in the footsteps of Twitter (who began the hashtag trend in 2007).  Now, hashtags are used across most social networks, including Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping people from including hashtags within Facebook statuses at present. The difference is they’re now clickable.

Facebook has introduced hashtags to help people discover what other people and pages are saying about a specific event or topic; this includes people and pages they’re not friends with or have liked.

Facebook is keen to stress that privacy settings will still apply to hashtags you include in a ‘friends-only’ post; these will still be visible to friends only.

Will Facebook hashtags work for brands?

There are so many brands creating big social media campaigns with the use of hashtags (see how many you spot on television adverts tonight); this change of heart by Facebook will now allow brands to pull marketing activity together.  For example, being able to use hashtags on Facebook will increase a brand’s exposure within the platform, by no longer being limited to those who only like their Page.

Brands will also be able to track their hashtags via the search bar to see who is using them and how they’re being used on Facebook.  Don’t forget, Facebook doesn’t have a 140 character limit, which means you won’t have to worry about cutting posts down and shoehorning hashtags in at the end hoping they’ll fit!

The main challenge will be whether hashtags take off as effectively on Facebook as they have done on Twitter.  On Twitter people use them to stay up-to-date with the latest news (trending topics), share interesting content, watch events unfold in real-time and to see what people are saying about their favourite TV show.

Will people start to use Facebook for the same reasons?  We’ll have to watch this space.

Sally Rowland looks after all things digital here at Moneypenny. The pace of change within the field of digital marketing means she’s never bored! If Sally’s found something useful, you’ll find it here in our new section.