A black hole in social media data got a step closer to being understood this week. Facebook has introduced the use of hashtags!
Up until know, it’s been almost impossible to see into the world’s most popular social network to gain insight that could be crucial in developing social media strategies and campaigns.
This week, Facebook announced rolled out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics. Hashtags are the first step.
The news is music to the ears of social media users and professionals alike although many are asking, “What took you so long?”
Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow users to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. The move makes Facebook altogether more searchable and integrates searches with other platforms which also use hashtags (most social networks!).
In addition, users can create updates directly from a hashtag feed to insert themselves directly into any open discussions.
Hashtags do not mean that Facebook content is now wide open and accessible to all; users still control who gets to see the content they post.
However, the new function does make it a lot easier to find and understand the focus of conversations taking place. Facebook says it’s planning to introduce more features going forward including trending hashtags and deeper insights. This is bound to make the lives of social media strategists a little bit easier.
This article first appeared on the Thornley Fallis blog.