Facebook Introduces Hashtags
It’s finally happened! Facebook has acquiesced by applying Twitter style hashtags to its internal architecture. This will mean big things for users and community managers alike as tagging and search functionality is significantly enhanced, allowing the social network’s one billion members to tune into topics of interest.
“To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about,” Facebook product manager Greg Lindley said in a blog post.
“Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hash tags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion.”
According to Lindley, this is just the beginning.
“Hash tags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months.”
This is a particularly surprising move in the face of intense traditional rivalry between Twitter and Facebook.
In 2012, Twitter disabled Instragram viewing functionality within its own platform in what has come to be regarded as a jab at its largest competitor. This move occurred only weeks after Facebook purchased the popular mobile image sharing service for $1 billion.
Facebook has since reacted by launching Verified Pages “to help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook”.
“Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences,” Facebook said.
This closely mimics Twitter’s own celebrity verification process.
Either way, we’re excited to experiment with hashtags for Facebook. A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone!