#Hashtag the Wave of the Future


Following Twitter, and their Instagram Facebook has adopted hashtags. The Facebook wave of changes continues. We’ve been programmed to accept the hashtag as a gateway to content and conversations far beyond our own. So it would seem natural to assume that any content hashtagged would become visible automatically, on a global scale, and so goes our Facebook statuses, photos, and now just about everything.

What does this mean for you as a user? Facebook privacy settings still override every other action, so if you hashtag a status that has been set to be restricted to your friends, then only your friends will see that hashtag in a search. If you want to reach more people, you’ll need to make sure you select public in the post prior to pressing enter. Therefore, it’s basically business as usual for individual users, which is why we’ll likely never see conversations form on Facebook in the way they do on Twitter. Except for the fact that if you have your Twitter linked to your Facebook it’s just one less step you have to take in your edited Facebook post. No more reediting anything, you post on Twitter for Facebook.

What this means for brands? Brands will likely find a reason to celebrate this new function, as it will prove easier to port content from network to network. Again, this a post coming from Twitter when your account is linked to your Facebook. Suddenly, those ever-present hashtag campaigns that are born from everything from TV spots to restaurant menus will resonate just a little more and become a bit more synergistic. So, the hashtag opens up the brand’s reach beyond that of their own page, but again, you need to have privacy settings or at least post set to public so that more people can see your post.

It does seem like it has taken Facebook a while to start using hastags, until their purchase of Instagram they see that hashtags are used often for an easier search of what people are talking about and what people want. Yes, Facebook has been doing many changes even when they have a glitch in their system that gives more information out to the public. Which I’m happy to say they fixed, but for how long before it happens again? Or how long to when they report they’ve been hacked?

Either way it’s good news for advertisers too. Advertising will likely prove to be the real winner of the Facebook hashtag. Brand X can’t read your hashtag status update, but it’s targeted ads will now reach you ever more accurately. Of course, interest targeting on Facebook is nothing new, but if a user takes the time to hashtag a post in the here and now, that adds a great deal of weight. After all, you might have “liked” Led Zeppelin two years ago but never given them a moment’s thought since, and so a hardcore fan’s “like” is the same as the casual listener who “likes” one song. But if you just hashtagged the band in a status update you posted five minutes ago. Chances are there’s an advertiser out there who would like to meet you. That’s relevance. That’s timely. And that’s probably the biggest change that will come from Facebook’s hashtag adoption.

Therefore, this says that now when you post something you want someone else to see chose public post and see a bigger audience that grows. The wave into the future for us all, and if you didn’t know about hastags in Facebook now you do so start using them as you do with Twitter, and Instagram.

By: Forrest L. Rawls

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