Report: #Hooray, Hashtags Coming To A Facebook News Feed Near You
To date, Twitter has owned the market on real-time, crowd-sourced information. Whether it’s during the Super Bowl, Television, or cultural events — users flock to Twitter (and hashtags) to see what’s happening. Our own Danny Sullivan summed up the current Facebook/Twitter experience masterfully in the article “For Social Media Viewing, Twitter Is Live TV, Facebook Is DVR.”
Well, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook wants out of its DVR status and in on the hashtag.
Sure both Google+ and Instagram support tags, but Facebook has typically stayed far away from the symbol that is so intrinsically Twitter. According the WSJ, a Facebook hashtag would use the symbol “as a way to group conversations.”
It’s hard to imagine just how this would work for the large number of Facebookers who keep their personal information private. The current privacy settings are a bit clunkier than fellow competitors and the toggling from public to private to targeted is possible, but not utilized by many. From a competitive standpoint, Instagram works precisely like Twitter (all public or private) and Google has simpler targeting that allows quick additions via Circles.
The report also shows that Facebook is actively testing hashtag implementation and how it will operate:
Facebook is testing whether to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to click on a hashtag to pull up all posts about similar topics or events so it can quickly index conversations around trending topics and build those conversations up, giving users more reason to stay logged in and see more ads.
In response to the Wall Street Journal article, a Facebook spokesperson gave us this statement: “We do not comment on rumor or speculation.”
An interesting angle that Facebook could play to is demographic & connection based updates. With all the information give to Facebook, they theoretically could be able to allow users to see what others in their college/company/town/ are thinking about the hashtag. For more information, see the Wall Street Journal.