Facebook’s true motivation behind hash tags is user based
By Quantum Capital Fund
When a company has fallen from the heights it was once accustomed, often times they may look towards competitors and adopt some of their business practices or strategies in order to restore the company to its normal state of affairs.
This was the motivation behind Facebook’s adoption of a feature which was popularized by Twitter, the hash tag.
Reuters reports that Facebook said on Wednesday that it will begin to roll out the feature on its social network, making it easier for users and advertisers to find hot spots of user activity around specific events or topics. Hash tags enable users to follow specific topics of conversation within a social network's ever-changing stream of user comments.
"Between 88 and 100 million Americans log in to Facebook every night during prime time TV hours, which represents a significant opportunity for broadcasters, advertisers and our other partners," Justin Osofsky, director, platform partnerships and operations at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday. Reuters further points out that a recent episode of the Game of Thrones series on HBO generated 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, he said.
While on the surface it may seem the only motivation behind the adoption, there is another big reason for the move.
Facebook may using the feature to not only increase its market relevance but to grow its user base by offering engaging content. Facebook has recently come under fire over its inability to produce socially relevant user engaging content. This has been identified as one of the reasons why a number of users, particularly teens and young adults, are leaving the platform in favor of other platforms which they feel are more relevant. Facebook has seen the success that the hash tag function has brought to Twitter and the platform would like to capture a measure of that success. By actively creating a function which encourages user engagement and debate, Facebook is able to offer engaging content and a way to keep users on its platform for longer.