#Facebook introduces searchable hashtags
As of today, Facebook users will be able to use hashtags as part of a larger discussion regarding a wide range of topics, from sports teams to their favourite television programme.
Speaking in a post on the Facebook news page, Facebook's product manager Greg Lindley commented:
"Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you'll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic."
A shocking recent episode of popular television series Game Of Thrones was provided as an example as to the power of Facebook as a discussion tool, with 1.5 million mentions of the show on Facebook, a large portion of the total audience of 5.2 million. With around 90 million people in America alone accessing Facebook daily and 27 million Facebook users in the UK, it is clear that the possibilities for discussion on the leading social media network are extremely large.
Further hashtag development on the horizon
Currently, users of Facebook are able to use hashtags in three different ways:
- Use the search bar to discover results on a specific hashtag. For example, #GameOfThrones.
- Write a post directly from the hashtag results page.
- Click on hashtags that have originally been posted on non-Facebook services, including Instagram.
Greg Lindley's post also confirmed that further updates were on the way, with confirmation that the most popular hashtags would appear in a 'trending' section in the near future. Further insights were also hinted at, suggesting that data on exactly how many people were discussing a particular trend or topic may be made available by Facebook.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword remarked: "Hashtags have proved to be extremely popular and resourceful on Twitter, so the only real surprise here is how long it has taken Facebook to introduce the feature. While hashtags are now a common part of social media, it will be interesting to see if Facebook do anything differently with the information once users begin to engage in this manner.