Facebook Looks to Use the Hashtag

Would serve Twitter-like function in conversations

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 15, 2013 4:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's done so well at Twitter, the hashtag may soon have a job at Facebook, too. The social network is looking into using the symbol to organize conversations on the site, the Wall Street Journal reports. As with Twitter, Facebook users could potentially click on a hashtag to see what people are saying on a given topic. That could keep users on the site for longer, meaning more ad views, the Journal notes. (At Slate, Will Oremus says the Facebook move is "rather ingenious when you consider it from a business perspective.") It's not certain when Facebook would launch the feature.

It's all part of the increasing overlap between the two services, the Journal adds. Facebook has also added "subscriber" lists and in-post tags with the "@" sign, both moves reminiscent of its smaller rival. Facebook is now looking to be a "personalized newspaper" for users, echoing one of Twitter's goals. For Twitter's part, it has been making its service more conducive to advertising. "Historically, Facebook has come first for advertisers and Twitter has been a nice add-on," says a marketing analyst. But lately, "Twitter has been more aggressive." Click for the Slate analysis.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, March 7, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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