In order to make it easier for users to find conversations of interest, Facebook has (finally) started rolling out hashtags, the organizing symbols that’s been ubiquitous on Twitter pretty much since there was a Twitter.
The idea, according to product manager Greg Lindley, is to bring prominent and popular conversations to the fore (same as Twitter). The hashtag symbol will be used (same as Twitter). Clicking on the hashtags will bring up posts that touch on that topic (ditto again). However, one difference from Twitter, when you add a hashtag to a post, it doesn’t automatically go public.
Another difference, according to The Washington Post, is how people use Facebook, which is going to be critical to how popular hashtagging will be on Facebook. People go to Twitter for real-time news. Anecdotally, we’ve not heard the same about Facebook. However, Lindley says people are definitely using it that way. There are 655 million daily active users on the site, WaPo said, about three times more than Twitter. Lindley says 88 million to 100 million people will post while watching primetime TV.
And Mashable notes that lots of other networks, like Instagram, already use hashtags to group conversations. For Facebook, it could change the perception of it as a place for as-it-happens news updates.
Hashtags were unveiled yesterday but will be rolling out over the next few weeks.
Will you be hashtagging on Facebook?