AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

More on Facebook Hashtags

Posted by zachthebernstein on June 12, 2013

In an earlier post, Natalia asked a couple of questions about Facebook’s adoption of hashtags: What do they mean for privacy, and are people actually going to use them?

To answer the first question, ABC News writes:

Facebook users will be able to search for a specific hashtag from the search bar and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed. Facebook also clarified to ABC News that hashtagged posts will still respect the regular privacy settings. If you include a hashtag in a post going out to just your friends, only your friends will see it appear in that hashtag feed.

Basically, this is like what Twitter would do if your Tweets were only accessible to friends.  So while Facebook is always going to have everything you post on file, forever and ever, at least people outside your circle of friends don’t have to see it.

As far as the question of whether or not people will use it, I think there’s an easy answer, as Natalia pointed out: People already are.  I’m sure we’ve all seen someone using a hashtag on Facebook, as ridiculous as it makes people look (or I should say, used to).  I’d say that Facebook is responding to customer preferences as much as it’s trying to ape Twitter’s functions.

Honestly, though, I’m not convinced this is a fantastic move for Facebook.  I don’t see a downside, of course, but I still see Twitter as the type of place where this sort of thing would be helpful – where people can send something out quickly and you can literally watch a topic take off across the entire Twitterverse.  Facebook, with its more relaxed character limits and tighter security restrictions, just doesn’t seem to fit that mold.

But then, hashtags are already being used.  So it was probably just a matter of time.

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