Social media giant Facebook has recently mentioned that they will start to introduce the use of hashtags. The allows users to participate in trending conversations such as world events, television shows, and sporting events in real time. Twitter first popularized the hashtag, but now, social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr use it to categorize pictures, posts, and comments. The introduction of the hashtag on Facebook was only inevitable, as they saw the potential in the amount of people who use hashtags on a regular basis through other social platforms and then followed suit. To be honest, people already use hashtags on Facebook – so why not actually implement feeds for each topic?
Facebook claims that the induction of hashtags is merely for connecting people on Facebook with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world. But in reality, Facebook is introducing hashtags for their own benefit.
The new Facebook?
Hashtags allow advertisers to deliver targeted messages to large groups of audiences. For example, a company such as Nike or Adidas could advertise to individuals participating in the #NBAFinals feed. You can almost guarantee a high interaction rate from these advertisements because individuals are practically telling marketers and advertisers alike, what they want to see. Does this bring a stoppage to advertisements in your Newsfeed? Probably not – but now advertisers can properly segment audiences and deliver relevant advertisements to them.
An official Facebook blog post stated this: “During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook – roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night.” That is a tremendous sized audience to target specifically, no wonder why Facebook is helping advertisers by segmenting their users through hashtags.
With the introduction on the hashtag, users can now:
• Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #NBAFinals.
• Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
• Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
But why is Facebook REALLY doing this?
CEO Mark Zuckerberg and investors are not happy with Facebook’s current positioning in the stock market. Earlier on Tuesday, Zuckerberg faced some harsh comments from investors at Facebooks first shareholders meeting. Zuckerberg then went on to comment to USA Today:
“We understand that a lot of people are disappointed in the performance of the stock, and we really are, too,”.
Zuckerberg and investors alike are hoping that this can spark some sort of increase in stock price. Targeted audiences allow for targeted messages, which in turn produce a larger revenue stream for the publicly offered company. It’s hard to say if hashtags will be the solution, but Facebook also had this to say: “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. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook.”
So expect many new things to come in the future. What do you guys think? Any ideas with what Facebook will roll out next? And also, for those who were wondering; you CAN control the audience for your posts, including those with hashtags.