Facebook adds clickable Hashtags

Facebook is finally adding support for Hashtags, to be used in similar way as Twitter and Instagram. When the Hashtag is placed in front of a word, it will be clickable, and the user will be shown search results featuring that hashtag, for example, adding # in front on #ladygaga, which is then clicked on, will show all posts, images and videos featuring Lady Gaga.

Using hashtags to identify a theme, and turn a word into a search term, was first used by Twitter a few years ago. Users of social sites such as Instagram have long wanted hashtags t be supported on Facebook.

Currently, if an image on Instagram or a Tweet featuring hashtags is posted on Facebook, the search function is useless. Facebook users have been increasingly frustrated with the lack of support, and groups against hashtags on Facebook have been launched.

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Twitter was the first social media site to use hashtags in this way, but now it is seen as an integral part of social media. Pinterest, Tumble, LinkedIn and Instagram all use hashtags, and Facebook is the last large network to support them.

The news was announced on Facebook’s news page, and said a hashtag would now bring up an ordered list of comment using the same term, which including posts from people and pages they were not friends with and had not liked. Users will be able to limit who can view their hashtagged posts.

On the page, Facebook said: “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,”

“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.”

The new functionality has opened new doors for advertisers and marketers. Facebook does not currently allow advertisers to target people posting a specific hashtag or to sponsor a hashtag in the way that Twitter does.

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Cotton Delo, a technology writer at Advertsing Age magazine said: “People are having conversations about things like the Superbowl and Oscars on Facebook, but most of those messages haven’t been public, so marketers haven’t been able to get at that signal and know about the conversation an audience is having while they’re doing it.”

Will hashtags on Facebook improve the site? What are your thoughts? Let us know below, or come and say hi on Twitter, @Wired_Marketing

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