Soon nearly all of the top social media networks will be using hashtags. It all started with Twitter about 5 years ago. Then Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and even LinkedIn joined the fray. Now we are hearing reports that the biggest social network of them all, Facebook, is quietly testing out hashtags.
Hashtags are a great way for you to make your content searchable when used appropriately. For example, if you send out a tweet about the latest trends in social networking, and then add the hashtag “#socialmedia” or “#sm”, it will show up when people search or filter twitter for those tags. Hashtags are very popular in the marketing for political events like #RNC2012 and tv shows such as #MadMen. They also work well for Tweet chats like #GetRealChat and #Toolschat.
Hashtags have been in use for sometime on Instagram, Pinterest, and now Google+. In February 2013 LinkedIn began allowing users to add hashtags to their content. It is time for Facebook to join in. By making hashtags a prominent feature of social networks the customer benefits if they are standardized. As long as the social networks and users alike agree on usage and meaning, hashtags will be very successful. The way posts are ordered when filtering via hashtags works a little differently between networks as well. For example, Twitter filters in chronological order where Pinterest returns pinned content ranked in order of traffic popularity.
Instagram, now owned by Facebook, has been using hashtags for years. As Facebook further integrates Instagram, more and more hashtags are showing up on your wall and news feed. It seems almost inevitable that Facebook will officially flip the switch for all users and allow you to use hashtags in your posts. I have been tracking the Top 100 hashtags on Instagram for the past few months. Check out the most up to date list of the top 100 hashtags on Instagram.
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I think that hashtags will enhance your experience on Facebook when they are fully implemented. If you can type a hashtag such as “#chicagofire” into the Facebook search bar to bring up related content that is properly tagged, this will be useful and an improvement over the current functionality.
Share your favorite hashtags below.