Earlier last month Facebook launched clickable #hashtags, opening a slew of criticism from consumers, but joyful elation from social media marketers and digital advertisers alike. While hashtags themselves are not new to the social landscape, being veteran to Twitter and newer sites like Instagram and Pinterest, there are a few key differences with how they can be used on Facebook, including:
- The ability to click on tags that were originally posted on other social networking sites outside of Facebook such as Instagram.
- The ability to use the Facebook search bar to explore hashtags being used (Graph Search).
- The ability for marketers to use hashtags in any ads that they run on Facebook, thereby linking their marketing efforts to a larger social conversation.
In addition to these differences, you can also search for related hashtags . For instance, searching hasthag #equality will generate results like #DOMA. Lastly, and advertisers, this is for you— Facebook’s ad platform will now be able to target consumers based on their hashtag usage, giving a much deeper dive than the typical and existing demographic search criterion.
Despite having been a shock to Facebook users when these went live, overall the reception has been mostly positive, especially for marketing purposes. What will be interesting to see is how these things will change once privacy settings catch up with the new release.