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Facebook jumps on hashtag bandwagon

  • Wikimedia

Hashtags. Ultra cool shorthand, new medium of digital connection, or the ultimate expression of today’s interaction in a sea of saturated data being reduced to crass, edited soundbites? As attention spans diminish and communication grows ever more monosyllabic, is this in fact the natural symbol for today’s popular culture?

Facebook seems to think so. Either that or they don’t care about the implications for the zeitgeist – they just want to wrestle it off Twitter and make sure they have all their bases covered with the kids.

People have been adding hashtags to their Facebook statuses and comments for a while now for no apparent reason. Twitter was by its nature a limiting format of 140 characters that required a degree of inventiveness to distill ideas into a micro format – but Facebook has no such limitations and the sorry conclusion is that people just think that naff soundbite speak is cool. You even get whole paragraphs bristling with hashtags as someone (usually a brand or someone trying to promote something) takes the scatter gun approach. So despite the fact that hashtags have been lowering the level of debate on Facebook for a while now, the company, in their infinite wisdom have made them official.

You can now

Search for a specific hashtag from the search bar.

Click on hashtags that originate on other networks such as Instagram.

Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

Click on a hashtag and see all recent activity with the same handle

Facebook's Greg Lindley said: "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.

"Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations.

"We'll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world's conversations."

Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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