Facebook Officially Adds Support for the Hashtag
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Welcome to #Hashbook.
Today, after a much anticipated holdout, Facebook hashtags are now a real thing.
As we have previously written about here on Social Fresh, the hashtag has become a connective thread for users to share their thoughts to a larger audience on social networks.
Largely popular on Twitter, Facebook joins a number of other social media sites using hashtags to connect discussions including Instagram, Pinterest, and most recently Google+.
From their blog:
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.
How It Works
Hashtags are already popping up all over the timeline, graph search and within groups.
Clicking on a hashtag in your timeline brings up a stream of general hashtag content, with your friends’ posts weighed higher than the rest of the results.
Within Facebook groups, Hashtags appear to bring up posts from people within that group using that hashtag first, before searching the rest of Facebook.
With the release of Graph Search earlier this year, and the increase of hashtag-focused social campaigns being presented across multiple social media sites, in print, and increasingly, TV, it is an easy choice for Facebook to follow suit and make this cross-social communication a little easier.
What’s Next For Facebook Hashtags?
First we will probably get a menu of trending topics, followed by some sort of trending topics ads, a la Twitter. Hashtag analytics and stats would also be a huge benefit.
As hashtags take off to a new audience, Brands will surely want to gain more information about their performance (like reach and impressions) to help people discover new content as they run hashtag campaigns using the platform. This might come from Graph Search, or might need to be built as a new product.
Finally, at some point I believe brands will be able to target sponsored posts around hashtags, relying less on images and links alone, and more about the interest graph.
What do you think about the possibility for hashtags on Facebook?