Get ready for even more changes to Facebook This time it won't be visual like the changes to the news feed that were announced earlier this month. This time, as report in the Wall Street Journal, is the possible addition of hashtags (#). The news of this last change brings up a few questions on why they would be considering this move. Is Mark Zuckberg trying to out maneuver twitter by slowing introducing some of their feature into Facebook? Will the addition of hashtags be only to aid their new graph search as spokespeople of the social network said? Is it being added as another tool for ads to be more personalized? And will the addition backfire and drive people away from the social network?
Even though twitter focuses on micro-blogging, which is only a part of Facebook, it is still seen as a rival social network. By adding one of twitter's iconic features it could be seen as a way of trying to win over users that might be thinking of going over to the micro-blogging site.
A natural reason for adding hashtags to be used as an index that will be incorporated into the new graph search function that allows us to search for other users that have similar likes, pages that we might be interested in, and media articles that might be of interest. With the hashtags the searches on the graph won't be limited to only finding pages and media based on what the friends in your current network are viewing but add in those pages and media stories that have been marked with the hashtag you are searching.
As with any other business Facebook is always looking to improve any revenue stream that accomplishes that goal. The reason for adding hashtags could be looked at as just a way for advertisers to target their ads by using the hashtags that are trending that day or prompting their own hashtag.
Everytime that Facebook makes any type of changes there are always some people that talk about leaving the site. Many of these people might be part of the 61% of users that have cut back on their time spent on the social networking site. With this recent talk of adding hashtags that could aid in ad targeting will probably generate more talk about leaving.
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