16 Mar 2013

Facebook Working on Introducing the Hashtag

  Facebook is taking its business rivalry with Twitter into the realm of symbols: #Feud

Although the hashtag labelling system orignated in early social media such as the IRC, it was Twitter that led to a prominent rise in the use of it for labelling, as well as classification. Over the past few years, its use and spread have spread so far that it was awarded "Word of the Year 2012" by the American Dialect Society on Jan 4, 2013. Now, according to a a report on Wall Street Journal, Facebook is experimenting on incorporating this feature.

For those unaware (seriously people, have you been living on the planet for the past 5 years?), hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the "#" symbol. It is a method to collate numerous tweets about a single news/event.

According to the report on WSJ, Facebook is testing thee feature, which will allow users to click on a hashtag to pull up all stories about the news/event. It will also allow quick indexing of conversations around "Trending Topics" and build those conversations up. It is important to note that Instagram, the image sharing site that Facebook acquired last year, already uses hashtags. With Facebook allowing this feature, it may lead to a much closer integration between the two.

Facebook must also be interested in the new opportunities this provides for advertisers. Advertisers could promote particular hashtags as the current promotion of likes on fan pages. Through this they, may manage to get longer presence on Facebook's news feed.

Facebook maybe working on it, but I dont expect it to hit the common user any time soon. As far as the view on it's usefulness, I will reserve it for the launch.

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Source: WSJ

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