Hashtags Coming to Facebook

The Facebook you already know, but now with more hashtags in it. #Hashtags are #coming to #Facebook. That's #digital. That's #innovative. That's #disruptive. From the Wall Street Journal:

Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter's most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations, said people familiar with the matter. It is unclear how far along Facebook's work on the hashtag is and the feature isn't likely to be introduced imminently, these people said.

It's going to be amazing. Think of the possibilities. Think of how many uplifting status updates are going to be pegged to #blessthismess. Think of how many jokes you'll be able to sift through simply by searching for #hihaters and #notgonnalie and #sorrynotsorry. That's when someone acknowledges they should probably feel sorry, but they aren't, because they can't possibly be expected to play by your rules.

If you're not really clear on what a hashtag is, the WSJ has a primer:

On short-messaging service Twitter, the hashtag-a word or phrase preceded by the "#" pound symbol-is a way for people to collate many Twitter messages about a single news event or topic, like the selection of the Pope (#PopeFrancis). The hashtag is closely associated with Twitter, and fans of the service use the hashtag as short-form creative expression.

Don't overthink the hashtag. Just fling it in. When in doubt, add a hashtag, my grandmother used to sing cheerily in the kitchen over a bubbling pot of hashed tags. She's dead now, but she used to be so alive. "It's the hashtags," she'd announce feistily whenever a reporter knocked on her willow cabin to inquire about the source of her longevity. "Just the hashtags, young man." Then she'd knock back a whiskey sour, roll back the rug, and do pastoral dances until he begged her to stop.

"More hashtags, please!" we children used to plead through the window as she placed a steaming plate of hashtags to cool on the sill. "More hashtags?" she'd ask, pretending to be shocked. "Didn't you children just finish all the hashtags in the hashtag bowl by the door?"

"Noooo," we'd chorus, trying desperately to keep straight faces.

"Land sakes," she'd say. "Lord have mercy." Then she'd cough and cough and cough until she had to sit down. Then she'd usually take a nap, and refused to listen to any more of our questions. Late afternoons weren't as much fun at Grandma's house.

Gizmodo's Sam Biddle wrote about the growing "unauthorized" use of the hashtag (a "vulgar crutch, a lazy reach for substance in the personal void-written clipart") on Facebook back in 2011.

Sam Biddle, an #early #adopter of the hashed tag, is on Twitter as @samfbiddle. He would love to see your favorite hashtags. You should send them to him!

A few important things to remember about hashtags:

  • The more hashtags you use, the more SEO you have. You want a lot of SEO. That's very important. You can use SEO to buy Facebook "gifts" like a drawing of a gift to send to someone you have a crush on.
  • All nouns must be hashtagged or you might find yourself locked out of Facebook. This goes for status updates, inspirational Churchill quotes ("we will never #surrender" is good, "#we will #never #surrender" is great), whatever.
  • Creating a hashtag is very simple. All you do is hold down alt+bracket+F4+double-shift and then tap once on the * key. Alternately, you can send Mark Zuckerberg (or Zuckerman, both spellings are correct) a DM and he'll send you one. You can copy-paste it into a Word doc and then just reopen it whenever you want to use it again. Don't forget to re-save the Word doc with a new name every time you use it, though. So, for example, you might have 40 documents all labeled "Hashtag 1," "Hashtag 2," "My Lil'est Hashtag," whatever.

    [Image via AP]