Skip to main content

Facebook formally introduces hashtags – let the discovery begin

fb hashtagFacebook is always in constant flux, coming up with one reason after another for users to remain faithfully addicted to the all-in-one social network. In an attempt to woo its dwindling teenage demographic and improve their not-so-effective News Feed curation, the company has decided to take yet another feature from Twitter’s playbook and offer it to their users: The hashtag.

Yes folks, Facebook clearly wants to be a little more lot like Twitter, where one simple click of a trending topic will yield you countless posts that broach your desired subject. A quick glance at all your social media accounts – Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, among others – will show you how hashtags have revolutionized how people communicate online. In a blog post announcing the update, Facebook acknowledged the massive amount of information on their site and the need to bring certain topics and conversations to the front of the line.

Regular social media users who’ve opted for cross-platform posting have seen their Twitter hashtags pushed into their Facebook feed, but this time they will actually be clickable. Users will then be led to a feed that contains public posts from all over Facebook discussing the topic, including those your own friends have shared.

In a nutshell, here’s what Facebook users can expect to be able to do, hashtag-wise: If you want a quick and easy way to know more about the #RedWedding and find out what the big deal is, you can simply type the hashtag into your search bar. You can also click on hashtags that originate from services like Instagram as well as compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

While employing the hashtag is not exactly a direct fix to the ever-present problem of important updates being buried deep in your News Feed, Facebook declares that its adoption of the popular device is the company’s first step in making news discovery a lot easier to deal with in the social network. The company ends its announcement by alluding to future functions that are in the works, all of which will be designed to improve public conversation on the site. 

Editors' Recommendations

Jam Kotenko
Former Digital Trends Contributor
When she's not busy watching movies and TV shows or traveling to new places, Jam is probably on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or…
Facebook reportedly considering ‘kill switch’ if Trump contests 2020 elections
Trump with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stylized image

Facebook is reportedly preparing for various scenarios after the 2020 presidential election -- including President Donald Trump using the social network to delegitimize the results.

Among the outcomes for which Facebook employees are planning include the possibility of Trump falsely declaring on the platform that he won the vote for another four-year term, The New York Times reported. The social network is also considering the possibility of Trump trying to invalidate the results by claiming the U.S. Postal Service lost mail-in ballots or that other groups interfered with the election, sources told the news outlet.

Read more
Facebook removes nearly 800 QAnon-related groups, pages, hashtags, and ads
QAnon conspiracy theorist holds a sign

Facebook took down nearly 800 groups associated with the far-right conspiracy theory group QAnon on Wednesday, as well as more than 1,500 advertisements and 100 pages tied to the group in a move to restrict "violent acts."

In a blog post, Facebook said the action is part of a broader "Dangerous Individuals and Organizations" policy measure to remove and restrict content that has led to real-world violence. The policy will also impact militia groups and political protest organizations like Antifa.

Read more
Facebook starts merging Instagram, Messenger chat features on iOS, Android
Instagram logo

Facebook has apparently started merging the chat services of Instagram and Messenger on mobile devices, following through with a plan that was revealed in early 2019.

For some people, a notification has popped up on the iOS and Android versions of Instagram, offering "a new way to message" while showing the photo-sharing app's icon alongside Messenger's. The notification, which offers users a choice of updating the app, also lists features such as a new colorful design, emoji reactions, swipe to reply, and the option of chatting with friends on Facebook.

Read more