The ole’ rumor mill is abuzz today with early reports that Facebook, the world’s #1 destination for farm simulators, is thinking about adopting the worst part of Twitter and Instagram. That’s right, the hashtag.
Oh, how these rumors break my heart. Now, in addition to only seeing a fraction your friends’ posts due to promoted post favoritism, hashtags will soon start invading Facebook feeds and inevitably our very souls
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Facebook is working on “incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter’s most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations.”
If you’re like me, then you’ve been chomping at the bit for a way to group your conversations. Hold on, that isn’t true at all — that sounds terrible. Why would Facebook do this to us? The answer, dear reader, is that sweet, sweet advertising money.
What better way for Facebook to compete with Twitter ever-encroaching on the social media advertising front then through copying a marketing strategy that has killed on Twitter? Or, once killed on Twitter.
Facebook, since going public with more or less negative results, has been scrambling for a way to start raking in those big ad bucks. One of those ways has been custom ads created and tailored for users based on their metadata (searches, likes, etc). Hashtags could be just another way for Facebook to collect all of those clicks on “trending” hashtags and whip them into creamy smooth ads for hockey jerseys.
It would be a clever way for Facebook to gather more info from their users if hashtags weren’t so goddamn annoying. From the moment #Shamrocking came into existence, the hashtag lost all credibility. Not to mention, there are so many shitty hashtags out there, the ones that actually matter have been washed out in the garbage water flood that is #YouKnowYou’reRatchet and the like.
The problem is of course giving people too much freedom. Sure, that sounds slightly dictator-ish, but hear me out. If people are allowed to write in whatever the fuck they want after a hashtag, the entire cataloging system breaks down as it has on Twitter.
Facebook, you have some of the most brilliant minds in the world working for you. Can’t you at least attempt to bring something new to the table as a means to fatten investors’ wallets? Maybe one that won’t give me 10% of my next purchase at Panera because bread bowls are trending? Oh, that actually sounds pretty good #FatGirlLife.