Last week, Facebook announced the launch of its news feed-centric redesign, which has since been rolling out to users around the world. Now, just eight days later, rumours have begun to circulate about potential new additions to the platform, with reports of a potential integration of the hashtag function onto Facebook.
Whilst the company itself refuses to respond to the speculation, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is working on the feature, which will be part of their new Graph Search capability. The use of hashtags to index information within posts, providing clickable links, also ties in with the customised content feeds feature newly introduced by the news stream update (TechCrunch).
With regard to digital marketing, this change would be a welcome one, allowing greater cross-platform consistency. With campaigns searchable via hashtags on Facebook in addition to other social networking sites, a more unified approach to social media marketing can be taken, which makes recognition for the audience easier in turn.
Additionally, hashtags facilitate the monitoring of conversations and engagement; a one-click link to what’s being said across the network about the given topic or campaign. However, given that users tend to keep their profiles much more private on Facebook, the power of the hashtag in connecting related discussions is much more limited there than on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest for example. Therefore the tracking of conversations will largely be restricted to public pages, and the reach of the privately used hashtags will be reduced.
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