Facebook and Twitter are easily the two largest social networks in the world, but while the former commands the lion’s share of a user base, both seem differential enough for folks to use both alongside each other. In recent times, however, we’ve seen Facebook borrow many features from The Twitters, and today, Zuck’s team has added the famous hashtagging experience to Facebook’s News Feed.
It’s not as though some users, much to the annoyance of their peers, haven’t already been hashtagging words in their Facebook status updates for a long time now, but with official support now being rolled out, users can share interests, context and trends on Facebook, just as most people do on Twitter.
While many have pointed out that Facebook has essentially copied one of Twitter’s integral features, it’s not as though other services, namely Facebook’s Instagram subsidiary, do not already offer hashtagging as a way of finding specific content and catching up on what’s hot in the world of news, popular culture and so on. But still, the pitchforks will certainly be out for what appears a shameless bit of feature theft, and in adding the ability to hashtag, Facebook has blurred the line between itself and Twitter in rather a big way.
Even if you don’t use Twitter, it’s likely you’re aware of what hashtags entail, but for the benefit of those that don’t
waste spend their time trawling the various networks, perhaps a little background info is in order. In a nutshell, adding a hashtag to a word allows it to be easily searched, and when there is a particular topic in the news, said word may trend. When one then logs into Twitter (and now Facebook), a list of trending topics will show along the side, and can range from the important, such as a political affair or natural disaster, to the trivial, being anything related to Justin Bieber.
In Facebook terms, users will now be able to search for hashtags within the search bar, and anything with the hashtag symbol before it will be clickable. Users will also be able to create posts based directly on the search results or the new hashtag feed. Trending hashtags will be added and rolled out in the coming months.
So, what do you think? Is Facebook’s rolling out of hashtagging necessarily a bad thing? Or, in today’s increasingly social digital world, was it always inevitable that such features would be crossing over? Do share your thoughts below!