What the Facebook crowd needs to know about hashtags

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Big news in the social media world today, is that Facebook will begin making hashtags clickable and searchable within Facebook (eg useful).

I’ve written about hashtags in a few previous posts (Hashtags can mean business and Hashtag champions to name two) and don’t want to rehash the detail of how they work now (geddit?)

For those Facebook users who have never ventured into Twitter, or used hashtags in another platform like Instagram or Tumblr, I want to point out one of the great side effects of hashtags that might blow your mind:

Hashtags unite you with people you didn’t even know existed.

That kind of flips Facebook on its head.

In Facebook, we generally connect with people we know – real life friends, family, colleagues. Granted, some FB users connect with thousands of people including some they have not met in real life, I know. But broadly, many Facebook users have between 200 and 300 friends and they’re people we actually have met.

Facebook hashtags are coming!
Facebook hashtags are coming!

Twitter is my favourite platform because it doesn’t work like that. You can meet new people. And one of the ways to find those new people is through hashtags.

For example, I found a cool coterie of people who were fans of The Good Wife like me, because they used #goodwife on Twitter to discuss the show while it was airing in Australia.

I can find people in South Australia who are into food by searching the hashtag #SAfood on Twitter.

I can find South Australians into political discussion by searching and reading the #Saparli hashtag on Twitter.

Again, hashtags unearth people you may not have known were online – people potentially interested in the same things you are, potentially your next best friend, customer, client or partner. And this is on its way to Facebook.

They’re pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to seeing how they appear in Facebook feeds and search. We won’t all have the hashtag capability tomorrow (in terms of being able to click them and be linked to search results) as they’re rolling out gradually. #buttheyreontheirway

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Randy Mundt says:

    Some fantastic gold nuggets here! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. grumpyoldman says:

    I didn’t know you were into the Good Wife too – what a show!

    1. Prakky says:

      I am indeed, Lee! Great show.

  3. David says:

    I’m unsure why this is happening to be honest.

    As you said, hashtags connect you with people you never knew existed which isn’t Facebook.

    Interested to see if there is even a point to it

  4. Prakky says:

    Thanks for reading, David.

    I think the main point to it is: Facebook wants to a bigger slice of the ‘live conversation’ pie! It probably looks at Twitter, trending topics, how Twitter hashtags are referenced in the mainstream press (especially TV) these days and sees this as something it needs to try to be part of.

    It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

    1. David says:

      I agree that’s the main point. I guess Facebook is built differently to Twitter. Twitter is made lightweight and quick for speedy updates, ease of use and updating. Facebook isn’t. Facebook like telling you want you should look at.

      Maybe it’s just another selling point for advertisers? Hash tags would be like emphasising what you are doing, where you’re at or what you love… making it easier to target.

      In my opinion, this is going to be quite a small change for Facebook users – and as you said, seems like Facebook thinking “Well, they do that, we should too – we are the ultimate platform”

  5. Luke Buckle says:

    I have just one problem with this ‘new’ feature. #guesswhatitis #couldbethis #andthis #ohlookanotherone #thisonesformycat #instagood #wtf #sexy #bikini @oops #imback #sydney #australia #prakky

    1. Prakky says:

      Yes, I #fear the #instahashtag #debacle all over again too. The city name hashtag bombs are particularly #annoying, #Luke.

  6. Ellen Nguyen says:

    Yeah my first reaction to this was #stupidharshtag and it found me a couple of like-minded people LOL

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