Hashtags are coming to Facebook, as the social media giant announced today that it has added support for phrases with “#” placed in front, a technique made popular by Twitter.
Similar to how they operate on other social media hubs like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, hashtagged words will now be clickable in Facebook news feeds. By clicking on something like “#NBAFinals,” you’ll be able to see other Facebook status updates with the same hashtag.
Hashtags from other services like Instagram and Twitter will also be clickable. You can also search for hashtags, which have become huge marketing tools over the past couple of years.
For those who are still bewildered by the “#” symbol in social media, hashtags are used to organize keywords or general themes relating to something. For example, you can search for the “#NBAFinals” on Twitter to see everyone who has included the hashtag in their respective tweets, which likely have something to do about the NBA Finals. It’s a good way to monitor the chatter geared at something specific.
Facebook says that this is just the first step in a series of new features that “surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics.” I haven’t been able to get it to work on my status updates yet, although have noticed others are using the new feature.
I had actually had an interesting debate last night with friends about Facebook “falling off” the social media map, at least for the younger generation with the advent of Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. I can say this: Adding hashtags doesn’t make me want to start posting more to Facebook, although it certainly is a nice addition, albeit a few years late.
Previously on GeekWire: The 10 social media tools that every startup must have