Facebook introduces the hashtag
The social networking site Facebook has announced plans to introduce clickable hashtags to their users, following in the footsteps of other social networking sites such as Twitter and the photo sharing app Instagram.
The clickable hashtags will allow users to follow discussions of their choice and view similar posts containing the same hashtags. Although many users of Facebook are currently including the hashtag in their status updates, comments or photo captions, they could not be used as a search tool previously. This is something that Facebook has now decided to change.
The introduction of the hashtag means that in future when users include a hashtagged phrase in their posts, it will become a clickable search term which will present users with a list of posts regarding the same topic, be it is the same phrase or people discussing similar things.
Facebook’s Greg Lindley spoke about the changes to come in a post, saying that there will be a “series of features” introduced in order to widen discussions on Facebook.
He added: “As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook. Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations.”
He concluded: “We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
Researchers from the Open University have named the hashtag a “semantic goldmine”. Digital advertising company RadiumOne commented on Facebook’s decision, saying: “Kudos to Facebook for recognising the power of the hashtag and the insight and data it can provide.”