The big blue social monster, Facebook, is taking a page from its cohort, Twitter, and adopting the hashtag. Usage of the socially symbolic character will begin to roll out to a small fraction of Facebook users this upcoming Wednesday and to more users in weeks to come.
Facebook’s endeavor with their new adoption of the hashtag is to make it easier for consumers to find content already on the social network. The use of the functional and pop-culture-loved hashtag is the first step in doing just that. Since a large portion of users already employ hashtags in their posts (despite the lack of functionality to date), Facebook’s reported mindset is why not make them work? Smart thinking, Mr. Zuckerberg and co. The monstrous social network will be capitalizing on existing consumer behavior rather than implementing a forced change.
And what better way to be a savvy marketer, right? Right.
Facebook hashtags will be both clickable and searchable, allowing users to interact with trends they see going on in their feeds and also proactively looking for a topic of interest.
The adored original hashtag was created in 2007 by a Twitter user, Chris Messina. From his strategic use of a symbolic keyboard character, “Twitter adopted the system of organizing tweets around a certain subject into its API and its broader ecosystem”. Since its inception nearly six years ago, the hashtag has been adopted by a slew of other social platforms, including Flickr, Tumblr, Google+, and Instagram.
Finally, Facebook proper will join that list. And that is #goodnews.