Social media giant, Facebook, on Wednesday announced that it will start supporting clickable hashtags (#) from its users. This comes 7 years after Twitter started supporting them.
Similar to other social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook will allow appearance of a tagged post or image in different feeds when clicked on. However, the difference is that Facebook allows users to decide on their readership every time they make a post so that they can be read by either the public or a selected audience.
Despite the heavy usage of hashtags by many social networks, Twitter is well known for having popularized this trend that blends well with its 140 character limit. Since Twitter disabled its live indexing by search engines, hashtags come in handy when searching for particular topics in real-time. If Facebook doesn’t limit the number of hashtags, I envision a myriad of meaningless hashtags cluttered everywhere.
Clearly, Facebook and Twitter have copied or rather borrowed from each other many functions a lot of times since their inception such as; the timeline, cover photos among others. But it seems, this year, Facebook has predominantly been on the receiving end; they added a compose status button on the header bar and a reply comments made in pages’ status feeds – features that have previously existed on Twitter.
Facebook and Twitter continue to target the same crowd, even with different operational and distribution models. Unfortunately, they continue to look the same each day that passes. Maybe the 140 character limitation on Twitter will maintain the indifference curve, maybe, too, Facebook will need to limit its hashtag characters lest they become meaningless.