Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Facebook now has hashtags:
Facebook said that the adoption of the hashtag will provide users with “a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.” Until now, hashtagging was limited to services such as Twitter, Facebook-owned Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.
I can’t say I’m too excited about hashtags coming to Facebook. I’m not convinced it will be as effective on Facebook as it is on Twitter. How will they measure the use of hashtags on Facebook? Will they have trending topics similar to Twitter? Where is the mechanism for facilitating converstations or talking about live events? Facebook doesn’t lend itself to back-and-forth dialogue the way Twitter does, so how will it be useful everyday users and to businesses and organizations?
I want to believe that Mark Zuckerberg and company brought hashtags to Facebook simply because they saw that Twitter and Instragram uses it so they wanted to follow suit…but I know better. Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t do anything that didn’t bring more money to Facebook. Navneet Alang at the Globe and Mail seems to think so as well:
That tension between privacy and aggregation, a personal social media and a public one, reflects a basic contradiction inherent to Facebook. While privacy concerns become ever more important for consumers, the more stuff on our profiles we make public and accessible, the easier it is for the company to adhere to its singular desire: to make money.
Time will tell us whether hashtags on Facebook was brilliant or a flop, but right now I’m not sold on the former.