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