When Facebook copies Twitter! Introduction of the Hashtag


Nathalie Coulibeuf, PHD’s Head of Social, on the new developments from Facebook this week:

Yesterday Facebook introduced a new feature. It is a very big one: the hasthtag (#). Hashtag will allow users to click and see what their friends think about those topics. It is a huge progress for advertisers, in order to see what people are talking about. In the next month, Facebook should launch new advertising format and tool in order to target in real time and in a more granular way.

Trending topics

People on Facebook will be able to see their comments in a generic conversation by adding a #+keyword. People already using a third party tool to publish their comments on social networks such as Hootsuite are already using the # because they publish the same comments on different social networks simultaneously. So whilst this was possible, you could not actually click on any #tags in Facebook. Now you can and they will all be aggregated to create a stream of conversations which can be contextually targeted. Similar to how Twitter works!

What does it mean for advertisers in the near future?

It means obviously better targeting and above all real-time targeting. Facebook and any Preferred Marketing Development will introduce that functionality in their ad offering, otherwise it won’t make sense.

With that in mind, if you are able to serve the right ads when someone is engaged in a specific conversation, then that will increase your engagement and people will more likely share the content.

More than that, this will be a way to finally measure the link between Facebook and TV. If we saw that conversations during a TV show are more likely happening on Facebook then the ad spend on Facebook will naturally increase.

This is one the best moves Facebook has made in a long time. They will finally be able to prove some interaction with the real world. It is also a good way to do market research without breaking any profile privacy.

What is the next step?

Probably a tool that aggregates any hashtags independently of platforms.

It’s a “de-platformization”, meaning that content and the way we communicate (language, device) are more important than any platform going forward.

Is hashtag to become a new currency…? I think so, well it certainly seems to be going that way.


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