Facebook HashTags arrive: Hello Twitter

facebookHas Facebook suddenly become more like twitter? Is Facebook now open to new and trending topics? The introduction of hashtags. In just a few months hashtags will now appear on Facebook – the worlds largest social network, making strides to help people find better and newer content, trends and themes – rather like Twitter. You’ll be able to find newer trends, themes and use the Facebook platform and be more open rather than the more closed social network it is.

The hashtag was first popularized on Twitter and enables users to follow specialist areas of conversation within a social network such as twitter – everything with that hash-tag label is easily accesible to the follower.

What Facebook Hashtags mean for marketers

The hashtags should make it easier for users and advertisers to find hot maps of user activity around specific events or topics. By doing this, one will be able to simply test the ability of certain and specific campaigns in a more controlled way – than the current way on Facebook. Many suspect there could be widespread implications for companies and brands who use Facebook as a marketing and advertising tool.

Brands that use Twitter chats will be able to have those very same chats on Facebook. Coordinating that might be tough, but I’m sure someone will find a way to bridge the gap between the two social networks.

Justin Osofsky, director, platform partnerships and operations at Facebook, said: “Between 88 and 100 million Americans log in to Facebook every night during prime time TV hours, which represents a significant opportunity for broadcasters, advertisers and our other partners,” For example: a recent episode of the Game of Thrones series on HBO generated 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, he said.

Facebook Hashtags = Twitter killer?

The elephant in the room is how FB can best win the war against the rival social network: Twitter! Twitter is pretty public and open but the question is how this can work within the confines of Facebook where many have private settings and comments are not view-able by thos outside their private social network. Initially FB plan to roll out to 20% of its users with a full global launch around the corner in the next few weeks.

Facebook Hashtags to boost Facebook Share price.

Investors in the social network company are looking for any good news to justify holding the shares which have performed very bad since their IPO last year and are now hovering around $24 compared to the nearly $40 launch price. The question on everyone’s lips will be whether Hashtags are enough to compete with marketing clout of the Twitter Brigade.

No doubt FB have a plan for how to monetize these hashtags and they’ll offer was to help marketers reach audiences faster and smarter. What exactly they will do is open to speculation, but there is not doubt that if you want a trending tag, you’ll probably need to pay for it with either time or money.