Most of my friends—or really anyone who will listen to me on this subject—have heard me rant (ahem, I mean speak calmly) about the use of hashtags on Facebook. They’ve seen me hop onto my social media soapbox and argue against prevalent hashtag abuse. Poor hashtags, which are meant to be used only on Twitter, or other platforms where the # symbol makes the terms that follow searchable and trackable! They might have heard me say things like, “If you go out to eat and post a picture of your food on Facebook, you cannot add hashtags like #eating #yum #brunch. That is not an acceptable post!”
Well, my feelings may have been somewhat unwarranted. My speeches too passionate. Because now Facebook has adopted hashtags that are both clickable and searchable, making it easier to discover new content, and annoy your anti-hashtag friends. (Don’t worry, I know hashtags are the new cultural shorthand. I’m learning to withhold judgement. Serenity Now.)
Of course, the good folks at The Verge offered an insightful perspective on this latest Facebook announcement:
Last week Facebook rolled out support for hashtags, another feature pioneered on Twitter. Like video, hashtags have been a crucial element of Twitter’s advertising business. It’s a way to focus attention around big events like the Superbowl and the Oscars. Hashtags organize the real-time conversation and create an anchor for people to connect to trending topics and campaigns. And that’s what marketers want, to be part of the big discussions.
Do you agree that hashtag marketing is the new face of social media marketing? Are you anti-hashtag? Pro? Also, what do you think of video for Instagram, Facebook’s attempt to compete with Vine, the video app Twitter launched last October? Tell me why in the comments!