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Today, Facebook starts introducing hashtags to content posted on the social network. That was announced on the company’s newsroom page yesterday.
Even though hashtags have been around for quite some time, Facebook adopts them rather late. One of the most popular platforms that rely on this feature is Twitter. However, there are many others which also use it like Pinterest, Tumblr, as well as the Facebook-owned Instagram.
So why does Facebook decide to join the party just now? Well, the official reason is that the social website is starting a new campaign. Its aim will be to “bring… conversations more to the forefront.” Apart from the hashtags, Facebook informs that it will also roll out other new features that will allow FB users to engage into conversations with people outside of their contacts list.
From Facebook assured that the hashtag function will not limit users’ privacy. That is because the visibility of posts with hashtags will not differ from the one a given user has set for all of the content he or she shares. In other words, if you have chosen to share information only with your friends, your hashtagged posts will remain open only to them. Hashtagged content will be public only if your profile is public too or if you have specifically set the particular post as public.
The hashtag feature was expected to be introduced after Facebook unveiled its Graph Search. The tool can track various topics on the basis of hashtags.
One of the advantages of this new feature is that it will make the adding of real-time content to certain streams really easy. That will allow users to quickly follow events, trending topics and things that generally interest them.
Although the official reason behind the introduction of hashtags on Facebook is the encouraging of discussions, there is also no doubt that the website will try to steal away some of Twitter’s fan base, or , to be more specific, the marketers.
Marketers and brands have been hoping that someday Facebook will add hashtags to posts since the feature offers greater visibility. Also, it can be successfully used for the targeting of particular audiences. Now, when hashtags have arrived on Facebook, many diehard Twitter marketers will flock back to Zuckerberg’s social website.
Although the features is announced to roll out today, from Facebook warned that it may take a few weeks before all users receive the update.