Facebook Turns The Heat On Twitter With The Hashtag

Facebook Hashtag

Last year we saw Facebook added a new feature, called cover photo. Before that, they provide us timeline. Few days ago, Facebook also introduced new design to its Timeline. Now we can see status and updates on the left side and content and apps on the right side. Now, what’s next? Very soon a new feature is coming. Facebook is planning to give us hashtag feature just like Twitter.

Hashtag is a popular feature of Twitter. But, what is this hashtag? You know about the hash or symbol ‘#’. It’s also called number sign, which is used for a variety of purposes. You see this symbol on your keyboard or mobile/telephone keypad.

On social-networking web sites Hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.

It is almost similar like ‘@’ feature. You can try it now on your Facebook. When we want to mention our friend’s name or a page’s title, we put a ‘@’ symbol and write the name/title e. g. @mr.abc. It will appear as blue colour hyperlink and when someone clicks it, he/she will be redirected to that person or page’s wall. But, hashtag is little bit different from that. On Facebook, you can mention someone or something using @ before the name or title, but you cannot see what all Facebook users are saying about a specific topic. Hashtag will fulfil this need. It will help you mention a specific topic or news event. Suppose you are talking about world cup 2014. In your status or conversation you may use it like #worldcup14. By this way you will be able to collect many messages about a single news event or topic.

It is first used on Twitter in August, 2007. But, it is not just a Twitter thing. They first appeared in online chat rooms before the microblogging site even existed. After that, it was included to other major social networking sites e. g. Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. They also tend to pop up on adverts and in TV shows.

According to reports from The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook is working on incorporating a popular Twitter feature ‘the hashtag’. The Wall Street Journal also reported, “It is unclear how far along Facebook’s work on the hashtag is and the feature isn’t likely to be introduced imminently.”

Last year Facebook purchased Instagram which also incorporates the hashtag. Hashtag is used to tag photos which allow users to sort photos by the symbol. Facebook is testing whether to follow Twitter's lead or not. In Twitter users are allowed to click on a hashtag to pull up all posts about similar topics or events so it can quickly index conversations around trending topics and build those conversations up. This process would also keep people on Facebook longer and see more ads, the Journal said.

It would also help Facebook’s new News Feed which was introduced few days ago. This allows users to see feeds with just specific types of content, including photos, games and music.

Maybe Facebook team is thinking about hashtag as a part of their battle with Twitter to become the best "personalized newspaper" in the world or, maybe not. But, users like us would always love a new feature that’s helpful and interesting.

Next Post »