The months old dispute whether hashtags work on Facebook or not is finally resolved – so far they haven’t, however Facebook announced today that it’s launching ability to follow conversations via hashtags.
The Facebook admits that this is not an innovative function and further explains that “every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share their thoughts on big moments happening all around them…— people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world. …To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook.”
Facebook statement indicates that hastags will be rolled out gradually and we’ll also see some other new functions of this sort.
From a practical perspective this means that once rolled out, any hashtags you add to your posts will now be clickable. The search bar at the top of the Facebook homepage will also allow users to look for hashtags, and hashtags on Facebook will also tie in to those from other social media platforms such as Pintrest, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
This will allow you to add context to a post and indicate that it’s part of larger discussion. By clicking on a hashtag you will see a feed of what other people and pages are saying about a topic or an event.
But there is a big difference in using hashtags in Facebook and it relates to Privacy settings.
From a privacy perspective, hashtags will work similarly to Facebook Graph Search. You’ll only see the comments that you’re authorized to see. This means that if you include a hashtag in friends-only post, only your friends will be able to see it in a hashtag search.
Considering that hashtags are already widely used on other social media platforms and commonly visible on Facebook already, it is highly likely that users will embrace this new add-on. And that can only be positive for Facebook Business Pages as well.