In June, Facebook followed the footsteps of Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram by making hashtags clickable allowing people to add context to a post and indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. Recently released data shows that Facebook posts with hashtags may be creating a negative impact.
Dating back to 2009, Twitter made hashtags popular when the social network decided to hyperlink hashtags. From television commercials to breaking news stories, hashtags have invaded our lives in some way. But why are they not working for a network that has over 600 million active users? The answer is simple – no one is clicking on them.
The reason people aren’t clicking on hashtags is uncertain. One reason could be people on Facebook simply don’t understand the use of hashtags and how they work. Another reason could be that brands are using hashtags for promotional use.
In the grand scheme of things, Facebook’s marketing strategy does not include promoting the use of hashtags. Twitter has fully embraced the importance of hashtags and tailor hashtags based on your location and who you follow; while Facebook does not have a trending hashtag section on the homepage.
In the example below, although 157 people liked the post and 532 people decided to share the post, #LoadsofHope was never talked about it and Tide was the only Facebook account that use that hashtag.
In addition to Facebook not having a marketing strategy to promote hashtags (with the exception of a blog post) you have to search for people using hashtags; whereas Twitter and Google+ automatically feed you the content.
Although hashtags aren’t working on Facebook right now, you can’t count them out just yet. The good folks at Facebook are aware that hashtags haven’t become as popular as they intended and you can bet they are cooking up a recipe to fix the issue.
Let us know your thoughts – will the use of hashtags on Facebook ever become as popular as Twitter?