Hashtags have been in use since the beginning of Twitter, and Instagram took full advantage of the idea with use of tags on pictures. Basically, hashtags are a simple way to group and search for specific keywords. They have become an every day part of life; used to emphasize parts of conversations, locations, and other such things. So it only seems natural that Facebook, perhaps the most popular social network of them all, would find it useful to add hashtags into its own service.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the information comes from sources whom are familiar with the matter. With hashtags, Facebook will be able to group together events and trends by their shared topic. Users would be able to click on a specific hashtag and view events, photos, and statuses related to that topic.
Technically, Facebook users can already tag with the use of the “@” symbol, but this only applies to certain events, people, or locations, and does not have an intricate search or grouping feature. The hashtag will allow people to get much more specific.
It’s no surprise Facebook has decided to make these improvements while they are heavily competing with Twitter in an array of different areas. Facebook has seen a decline in its users this past year, and is trying to implement changes to draw them back. They have been trying to drive more advertising their way as well. Recently, the social network updated its search engine, stated that public statuses will be searchable, and has pushed users to post more content publicly rather than with just their friends.
The sources do say this feature won’t be added for a while, so keep your hashtags to Twitter for the time being.