Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has succumbed to the popularity of the hashtag.
In a blog post, Facebook said that it wanted its users to have an easier time participating in conversations about topics that are important to them.
“Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share their thoughts on big moments happening all around them. Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event—people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world,” Facebook said.
The social network also cited data saying “During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook – roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night. The recent ‘Red Wedding’ episode of Game of Thrones, received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show.”
“And this year’s Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts,” it added.
However, it said that “To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.”
“To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook,” the social network announced.
Hashtags will work on Facebook just like they do on other popular social networks including Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. They will be clickable which brings the user to a feed that includes posts that also have the same hashtag.
According to Facebook, users can now
• Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #NBAFinals.
• Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
• Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
Facebook also reminds people that they can control who can view their posts, including those who can view posts with hashtags, using the same privacy control settings that the social network has previously introduced.
The social network also reminds people that they are working on further features which may be released “in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”