LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Hello Facebook hashtags! Now that they've arrived, here are some details that could maybe ease the change and provide some answers to the many questions I've seen posted to the popular network since the announcement.
What in the world is it and what's the point?
A hashtag is used for people to search for posts that have a common topic. When you see a word that has been hashtagged, you'll be able to click on it or search for it. For instance, if you search for "#HIMYM," you'll see everything that people had written about "How I Met Your Mother," depending on their privacy settings and if they included that hashtag. Its intention is to begin or further a conversation about a specific topic.
Hashtags are only searchable and clickable on desktop or within your smartphone browser. They are not recognized by Facebook's mobile app just yet.
Check privacy settings.
As with any new facet that comes along on the ever-evolving Facebook, be sure to check your privacy settings before using them. Each time you create a status or post a link, photo, or video, there's an audience option in the bottom right of the composition box. There, you can choose your audience. Options include "Only me, public, friends, or custom."
"It's a Twitter thing."
Twitter was not the first, nor the only place, we saw hashtags. They were first seen in Internet Relay Chat networks to label topics or groups, but the hashtag we know today, which is very similar, was proposed by a man named Chris Messina (Not the Chris Messina from the Mindy Project or Six Feet Under). He's the guy who suggested Twitter include them, and they're partly responsible for making Twitter so contagious. Social platforms that use them include but are not limited to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and now Facebook.
"They don't make sense."
Hashtags are often associated with asides or afterthoughts. For instance, it's pretty common to see a tweet that reads something like, "I'm so addicted to the Big Bang Theory. I adore Sheldon. #cantstopwatching." While this use is socially okay, chances are there aren't many people on Twitter, or now Facebook, out there searching for this hashtag. It would be more appropriate to hashtag #BigBangTheory, because when you click on it, there will most likely be a whole slew of users talking about the show, and your tweet or post will be a part of that big conversation.
What do you think about the introduction of hashtags on Facebook? Let us know in a comment below!