Hashtags, the # signs that allow you to group together discussion on a particular topic, have now been fully embraced by Facebook. It’s a small change but for anyone with concerns over privacy the implications could be worrying. Unlike Twitter, Facebook has been built on the notion of closed networks which appeals to those who feel uncomfortable with sharing information with the broader public. However, this step by Facebook is believed to be part of a broader effort to encourage more public interaction. In fact, even old comments written with a hashtag will be clickable so if you do have privacy concerns then it may be worth reviewing your old comments along with your privacy settings to ensure you know exactly who your sharing your posts with.
Hashtags were first used within internet chat but it wasn’t until the emergence of twitter that they gained widespread prominence, facilitating mass public discussion on an unprecedented scale. They now form a major part of almost every social network, including Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram, and it probably shouldn’t be a great surprise that Facebook have finally joined the conversation.