By: Pete Abernethy
The ever popular Facebook announced that it would now be adapting the use of hash-tags in June of 2013. This announcement seems slightly overdue as the now ubiquitous symbol has been found on Instagram, Tumblr and other well-known sites aside from the Twitter for quite some time.
Some have expressed concern that this will lead to more pointed and aggressive advertising campaigns on Facebook, making the Facebook experience less desirable to many. However, Facebook does claim that ad revenue was not a major motive behind the decision to add the hash-tag linking to the site. Others are loathing the expected overload of hash-tags in their news feeds fearing that their friends will be “tweeting” unnecessary updates and making the important and relevant news extremely difficult to find.
An interesting thought is the possibility of Facebook stealing Twitter’s user base with the addition of the hash-tag. Will Twitter lose some of its users to the “one-stop shop” mentality of Facebook? Will the now-useful hash-tags simply make surfing Facebook that much easier but not affect Twitter’s traffic at all? What about privacy, is that lost forever with the ability to see all past conversations with the same distinctive, unique marking?
These questions will only be answered in time, but interestingly enough, some view the hash-tag as a finite social tool and see machine learning as the way of the future. Forget the need to add a unique tag to a conversation; machine learning will be able to tell what you are discussing simply by reading your entire post. The only question is, how long will hash-tags last?
Are the days of the hash-tag numbered, or will it evolve with the times and take over the rest of the internet as it has all the giants?