Facebook hashtags: A great idea or a step too far?
The rumour mill is in full flow at the moment, as speculation grows that Facebook could soon introduce a hashtag feature.
Now the hashtag is hardly a new concept – it is already a firm favourite among Twitter users and even fans of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
The site has so far avoided bringing in hashtags, instead allowing users to tag themselves and their friends in certain locations – but this could be about to change.
So what is the purpose of hashtags? Those running Twitter campaigns will know that they are used to help people follow a certain theme on the social networking site, connecting ideas and allowing easier navigation.
Many of the world's biggest events have had hashtags assigned to them over recent years – everything from the US elections to the London Olympics have been tracked using this method.
Bringing this to Facebook has the potential to index conversations in the same way, which could be to the advantage of companies with a social media strategy hoping to monitor their success.
Imaging being able to start a campaign on Facebook using a hashtag that could easily be tracked – this is what many marketers are hoping the feature will achieve if it is introduced in the near future.
This is just the latest stage in the battle between Facebook and Twitter for social media supremacy and although Twitter has far fewer users than its rival, this move would suggest that it is still considered a strong competitor.
However, how well users respond to the changes is still open for discussion – some analysts anticipate that they may become annoying for Facebook users. Only time will tell.
Of course, Facebook has remained tight-lipped over the developments, neither confirming nor denying that hashtags are in the pipeline – #watchthisspace!
Posted by Emma Furze