If the rumors are true and Facebook starts using hashtags, Twitter might get a bit peeved. On one hand, it’s just another symbol sitting there on the keyboard, but on the other, it’s been pretty widely known as strictly Twitter territory. A new report says Facebook wants to get in on the hashtag action, which could elevate the already frosty relationship between the two social networks to ice cold.
The Wall Street Journal says Facebook is “working on incorporating the hashtag,” (which brings up a mental image of someone trying very hard to press the key but not quite accomplishing it) citing people familiar with the situation. Those sources said Facebook probably won’t introduce the use of the hashtag anytime soon, as it’s unknown how far along in the symbol practice it’s gotten so far.
Using a hashtag on Twitter enables people to group together a topic so that others can find it. Like how I tried to get everyone to start using #PopeFrank the other day but it definitely did not catch on. You could find any number of topics just by using the pound symbol and then a word. This has been the way of Twitter for what feels like forever and a day but really is about five years.
How would Facebook use the hashtag? Probably the same way, in order to keep people talking about topics while logged in on Facebook and of course, give the service more time to deliver ads. The company already has an intro to hashtags as it owns Instagram, another social network that groups photos by use of the sign.
The two companies have become more like each other in small ways recently, but they’re still rivals when it comes to raking in the advertising dollars. Keeping users engaged on Facebook through use of the hashtag could be an ad money gold mine. And whenever there’s money to be had, there’s no doubt a fight brewing between the two sides who want it. That’s just the way it goes. #Truth
Facebook Working on Incorporating the Hashtag [Wall Street Journal]