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#Whoa: Facebook adopts hashtags

June 12, 2013 at 4:52 PM   |   Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 12 (UPI) -- U.S. social network giant Facebook rolled out hashtags Wednesday as a means to add context or post to an online discussion, a Facebook product manager said.

Greg Lindley said in a blog clicking on a Facebook hashtag -- already on microblog site Twitter -- allows a person to see what other users and organizations are saying about the same topic, Computerworld reported.

"During primetime television alone, there are between 88 [million] and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook -- roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night," Lindley said. "The recent 'Red Wedding' episode of [cable television show] 'Game of Thrones' received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show. And this year's Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments and posts."

The hashtag, a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol, allows users to call up tweets or posts about a particular subject.

With hashtags, users could search for a specific point of interest or discussion, Computerworld said. They also should be able to compose posts directly on hashtag feeds and click on hashtags that originated elsewhere.

"This is a good move by Facebook," Dan Olds, an analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group, told Computerworld. "Many, if not most, Facebook users are already familiar with hashtags and how they work, so there won't be a learning curve there. With Facebook users utilizing hashtags, it will make it easier for the site to track trending topics, which can, in turn, give Facebook more attention from the press and advertisers."

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