Like Twitter, Facebook Introduces Clickable Hashtags.

Facebook is helping its members keep track of the most popular topics on the social media website by introducing hashtags.  If a user adds the # sign to a word then it becomes a clickable link, this will then bring up a feed about what other people are saying about this topic.

Made popular by Twitter, hashtags are commonly used to identify a theme.  Facebook state that allowing clickable links offers a “larger view of what’s happening” but experts say that it aids ad sales.  Hashtags are supported by other services such as Pinterest, Tumbir, Google+. LinkedIn, Sina Weibo and Instagram, which Facebook owns.

News about the Facebook hashtags was announced on their news page.  It stated that clicking on a hashtag would bring up a chronologically ordered list of comments using the same term, these would include posts from people that were not friends and also pages that you had not ‘liked’.

Facebook confirmed that they were going to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months such as trending hashtags and deeper insights, these would allow people to discover more of the world’s conversations.  However users would still be able to limit who can actually view their hashtagged posts.

Social media consultants believe that Facebook saw the success that Twitter had gained through the concept and so wanted some of that for themselves.  They understand that hashtags are popular with advertisers.  At present Facebook does not allow advertisers to target people posting a specific hashtag or allow them to sponsor a hashtag as Twitter does.  However it is thought that this may change in the foreseeable future if they are going to target “real time marketing” budgets.  This is money that is spent on adverts whose timing is determined by trackable, live consumer behaviour.  Such as when people talk about hot topics such as the Oscars and the Superbowl when it is on TV, because the messages are not public marketers don’t get the signal and know about the conversation that the audience is having.  Facebook is not monetising this at the moment but it will, no doubt, in the future.

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