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Hashtags on Facebook Coming Soon?

facebookhashtagHashtags are taking over the world: rumor has it that Facebook will be launching a hashtag feature with its Open Graph.

Because clearly we need more hashtagging, right?

Facebook, of course, is joining Twitter (where using a # sign before a word or statement became a way to follow conversations dedicated to that particular subject or event), Google+, and Instagram. But why do hashtags matter? Well, Twitter uses them to appeal to advertisers, according to Mike Isaac at AllThingsD:

If a user follows a hashtag about, say, #desserts, a company like Hostess could sell ads against anyone who searches that hashtag, sticking a promoted tweet for their delightful pink Sno-Balls in front of everyone following the hashtag. It’s a practice that’s slowly catching on for the advertisers who can understand it (but not every brand is totally up to speed on how to best advertise on Twitter).

John Constine at TechCrunch, however, points out a major flaw in using the hashtag on Facebook: Privacy.

There’s a big issue with hashtags on Facebook, though. Unlike Twitter where most posts are public, on Facebook most have some level of privacy. Clicking a hashtag would therefore only be able to show you public posts and those set to be visible to you that mention the tag. One option would be showing the content of private posts but not their authors, though this would likely be met with backlash.

Of course there’s an outcry about this proposed change, because when does any social media company make a change without an outcry? But there is no doubt that using hashtags on Facebook will help marketers that are trying to gauge influence and engagement on the platform, something that’s been mildly challenging. Of course Open Graph and hashtagging will change that dynamic.

Frankly, people are already using fake hashtags on Facebook; why not use real one?

What do you think? Will hashtags on Facebook just be annoying, or are they a great addition to the platform?

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