Facebook has recently rolled out hashtags for Facebook. If you’re not part of the Twitter-sphere but you spend time on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed (more than once!) your friends integrating hashtags (#) into their comments. You may have even seen hashtags on the screen during your favorite TV show and wondered what they meant. Simply put, hashtags are a way for people to come together with their interests online and join in on a similar topic of conversation. Hashtags also allow the rest of the world to see what people find interesting here and now, allowing for a larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.
On Twitter, when a topic is ‘trending’, it means that a significant portion of Tweets have shared a similar hashtag statement. Facebook must have been feeling left out, because it now allows users to make a hashtag statement that is clickable by other users. For example: Right now, the Bruins and the Blackhawks are fighting it out for the Stanley Cup in hockey. If you do a search on Facebook (from your search bar!) for #StanleyCup, you will see all the posts across Facebook that have mentioned that specific hashtag. The results show recent and past posts from a multitude of Facebook pages that mention #StanleyCup and these results can allow a user with an interest in this topic to learn more about it through articles, videos and images that have been posted to Facebook.
Facebook wants its users to know that this is only their first step in helping people to join in public conversations about topics they are interested in. They plan to bring out more features over the next few weeks and months that allow Facebook users to discover ‘more of the world’s conversations’. This can be useful for social media marketing, because it allows people interested in what you have to share to find your Facebook page and your Facebook posts through your use of your hashtag statements. For more information on Facebook’s use of the hashtag, check out this article on Facebook’s website.