FACEBOOK IS ADOPTING THE #HASHTAG
The world's No. 1 social network, is adopting the "hashtag," one of the most recognizable features of its younger rival Twitter, in a move to position its Web service as an important complement to television, sporting events and breaking news.
Facebook said on Wednesday that it will begin to roll out the feature on
its social network, making it easier for users and advertisers to find
hot spots of user activity around specific events or topics.The hashtag, which appears as the # symbol and was first popularised
on Twitter, enables users to follow specific topics of conversation
within a social network’s ever-changing stream of user comments. Facebook users will now be able to group comments on the same topic
by typing the hashtag alongside a keyword – such as #election – at the
end of a post.
“Between 88 and 100 million Americans log in to Facebook every night during prime time TV hours, which represents a significant opportunity forbroadcasters, advertisers and our other partners,”
said Justin Osofsky, director, platform partnerships and operations at Facebook, in a blog post on Wednesday. A recent episode of the Game of Thrones series on HBO generated 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, he said.Until now, however, Facebook said in a separate blog post on Wednesday, its service lacked a “simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.” Whether conversations about events on Facebook will have the same level of activity and comments as on Twitter is not clear. Unlike tweets, which are public and viewable to all users, most comments posted on Facebook are only viewable to a user’s circle of friends.The company said that hashtags were the first of several new features that will be introduced to highlight discussions about events on Facebook. The company is rolling out hashtags to roughly 20 percent of its users on Wednesday, with a full global launch expected in the