Jun 14, 2013

    FB tunes in with Twitter's hashtag

    FACEBOOK on Wednesday added Twitter-style hashtags to help the over one billion members of the social network tune into topics of interest.

    "To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about," Facebook product manager Greg Lindley said in a blog post.

    "Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest, hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion."

    Twitter made the "#" symbol part of Internet-age culture by letting users of the globally popular one-to-many text-messaging service label comments with terse topic descriptions marked with the punctuation mark.

    Facebook users can search the service based on hashtags or click on a hashtag to get a list of posts people have put in the category.

    "Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations," said Mr Lindley. "We'll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months."

    This is not the first time that the leading social network has taken a lesson from Twitter.

    Last month, Facebook began authenticating the pages of famous folk and big brands at the social network, in a move that followed in Twitter's footsteps.

    Facebook launched Verified Pages "to help people find the authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook".

    It said its membership continues to grow rapidly and that it is working on a version of the service better suited to use by people in emerging markets where Internet connections can be slow or low-capacity.