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Facebook introduces hashtags

Facebook is introducing hashtags, making it easier to search for content on the social network and allowing brands to better integrate it into their wider social marketing activity.

Facebook-hashtag-2013.460

The social network yesterday (12 June) announced it is making hashtags available to a certain number of Facebook users. They can be used to search for and join conversations, for example “#fathersday”, with people outside of their own network of contacts.

The introduction of hashtags means marketers can better integrate Facebook to wider marketing activity on other social networks where they are already an established way of discovering content. For instance, Facebook users will be able to click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram and Twitter.

Currently, there are no advertising products around the new service but Facebook intends to introduce additional functionality for marketers in the coming weeks. This includes a trending hashtags tool, with an insights service helping them to better understand how they fit into their Facebook advertising strategies.

Greg Lindley, Facebook’s product manager for hashtags, says: “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.”

An additional note to marketers reads: “Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.

“We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags.”

The move follows Facebook’s earlier efforts to improve discoverability of the 4.75 billion pieces of content shared on the social network each day, including the launch of Graph Search in January.

Readers' comments (3)

  • About time... Facebook are seriously behind other social media sites. Can't wait to be able to experiment with it for the company I work for.

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  • Great news. # belongs to social bloggers and users, not twitter.

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  • Facebook already have a targeting capability called 'topics' within their keyword systems, these are rolled up keywords with hashes like '#football' rather than more specific, hash-less, keywords like 'liverpoolfc'. Enabling real hashtags will improve the quality of the data used for these 'roll-ups'.

    This new tool could also open the door for a sponsored trends ad product akin to Twitter's, although that will depend on how visible the eventual trend functionality is within the system. If it's on the home page it will have enough visibility and would justify consideration of a new ad product.

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