Twitter Vs Facebook: Hashtags & how they can aid marketers (Part 1)

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'Hashtag'… such a popular term:

As any avid user of Twitter will know… Hashtags, depicted by typing a ‘#’ alongside a word of choice – to represent emotions, thoughts or a common topic, became equally usable within Facebook as of June this year.


The Hashtag.

An example of a hashtag in use: #PerceptiveFlow

The trend with hashtags began back in 2007, on twitter. It became an instant hit between users, allowing them to see who was talking or thinking about the same thing as them, worldwide. Over time, the hashtag trend earned its way onto multiple other social networks, such as: Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, before venturing into Facebook territory.

Through twitter, the ‘#’ symbol can be used as a means of easy access to one type of tweet. For instance, in recent news within the UK, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their first child – meaning the hashtag: ‘#RoyalBaby’ became an instant viral success.

You can view our previous blog post, which addressed the social media statistics of the #RoyalBaby, here.

As another example, with ‘#Wimbledon’, people were able to search on twitter for this hashtag – as a means of gaining insight into match scores, player information and photographs people had posted about it.

Facebook catching on?:

We all had those annoying people on our Facebook friends list, who already mimicked the whole hashtag trend, within their status updates and image uploads, before hashtags were even supported within the network – and so,  not gaining the functionality of using them within the various other social media platforms. I remember sitting there, reading over-hyped statuses’, asking myself “why?”.


Why did people used to use Hashtags on Facebook...?

Many other people would get fed up with this fake usage of hashtags – as it was purely for aesthetics, and didn’t actually generate trending topics or posts – unlike how it did on Twitter. However, Facebook already began to introduce links to centralize friend’s status updates on news feeds.

Say three of your friends posted content under the same link – they would be colle­cted under the same stream of conversation, for the sake of ease and consistency of navigation.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Facebook finally released support of hashtag usage, in June this year – meaning trending topics could be accessed within the Facebook community, via a big collective stream. With just a simple click on a hashtag, users can now find out what others have been saying about that one hashtag. There are, however – both pro’s and con’s to this.

With Facebook catching onto this notion of hashtags – it is clear that they will continue to travel further and further throughout the online community, perhaps making their way to bigger avenues in the near future. However, as unexciting as it is for you readers… There isn’t much to be said about Facebook’s new use of hashtags, as they don’t really differ to the original Twitter ones in any extreme way. If anything at all, they have less impact or reasoning – due to the privacy settings people hold on their profiles.

…That’s all for today – but stay tuned for part’s 2 & 3, which will be online in the coming weeks!­

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