#Privacy and #Security — are these two things on the way out with the rise of the hashtag? Hashtags were originally associated with Twitter, and provided a way for users to make their tweets visible in more areas of the website. The hashtag will operate much the same way in Facebook, and any word that is hashtagged clickable. For most people, this change does not make a big impact. However, others may worry that hashtags make their status updates a bit more public than they may like. Discover the facts about hashtags and what they mean for your security, so you can decide the best way to proceed with your Facebook interactions.
Hashtag image by mikecogh via Flickr.
What Do Hashtags DO?
If you have never spent much time on Twitter, you may wonder what all the hubbub is about. What benefits are there to using a hashtag on a post anyway? Essentially, the hashtag turns into a clickable link, and anyone who has access to your post can click that link and find related material. For instance, if you were writing a status about your new cell phone, you might add the hashtag #smartphone or a tag with the model of your phone, for example: #BlackBerryQ10, then those who are interested in reading statuses or finding groups related to smartphones could click the link and learn more.
Where Can You Use Hashtags?
One question that many people have about hashtags is where they will be used. You can use them nearly anywhere within the Facebook page. You can use hashtags on both personal and commercial pages, in group messages and in comments.
Who Can See Your Posts with Hashtags?
Facebook has a relatively simple privacy interface. You can control who sees any of your posts. The settings that you currently use for all posts will apply to your hashtags as well. For instance, if you have your privacy set for “friends of friends,” then when you post something with a hashtag, your friends and friends of your friends are the only ones who will see those hashtags. Even if a friend comes in and uses a hashtag on your comments, you — and only you — still have control over your post. Only those who you have allowed to see your initial post will see his or her comment and hashtags.
While there are no official rules on how you should use hashtags in your Facebook posts, it is important you use care so you do not overwhelm your friends or fans with your tags. In general, do not use more than three tags per post. You can use them directly in the middle of a sentence, if they make sense. If they do not fit well in a sentence, you can add them at the end of the status in order from most important hashtag to least important. Only time will tell how hashtags influence the daily operations of Facebook. Spend some time experimenting with the tags and find out if they will help you in your business or personal interactions on the world’s largest social network.
About the Author:
A world traveler, Selena has spoken at a dozen social media networking conferences in five countries. When she’s not at her daughter’s dance recitals, she’s brushing up on the latest news in the digital world.