Facebook announced hashtags last week, giving validation to everyone who used the original Twitter function to drive home their point in a Facebook status update.
What was once unnecessary is now helpful in discovering new content in Facebook, and potentially annoying your friends even more.
With hashtags, you can:
- Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar.
- Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
- Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
Hashtags are being received with both skepticism and enthusiasm. A quick hashtag search for #Facebook pulled up the following:
Facebook says hashtags fulfill a critical need to organize the public discussions happening in the social network:
During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook - roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night. The recent "Red Wedding" episode of Game of Thrones, received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show. And this year's Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts. To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about.
Over at Facebook-Studio.com, they recommend looking at Facebook hashtags as an extension of the marketing campaigns you’re running in other platforms that use hashtags:
If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising. The same creative best practices on Facebook still apply – compelling copy and photography that is in the brand voice works best. Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.
So what do you think – are Facebook hashtags friend or foe?