Last week Twitter turned seven and Facebook is hoping this is the last birthday the social network will celebrate. To help with that, Facebook is preparing to introduce hashtags (maybe).
Twitter made the hashtag famous and Instagram added to the frenzy. Some people are hashtag crazy. FYI, you don’t need to hashtag generic words in your captions or tweets. Hashtags should be reserved for conversation.
Currently Facebook users can tag people, pages and location and check in at a physical location (which kind of killed Foursquare for awhile). However, the search functionality really hasn’t been there.
From a community manager perspective, Twitter and Instagram’s hashtags have made searching for conversations and finding new audience members super easy. I can smoothly join a conversation with someone who didn’t know I existed beforehand.
Hashtags have also been great in getting the news out. During the Boulder Fire in 2011, the hashtag #BoulderFire helped animal owners find homes for their dogs, cats, horses, etc. in safe locations around the county.
During the very brief snowstorm we received on March 12, 2012, local news NBC station KUSA used the hashtag #SurpriseSnow to deliver updates on the storm and traffic. This hashtag also informed me that I should probably just give up on trying to make it into the office that day from Denver.
Why wouldn’t Facebook want to join in on this? While they haven’t officially announced the introduction of hashtags, many are hinting that it will be part of the Graph Search feature. Graph is currently in beta, so those of us Facebook deems as not cool enough will just have to wait.
Well, I will leave you with this #WaitandSeeWhatHappens or #FacebookKillsTwitter.