Facebook has finally introduced hashtags to every conversation on the social platform. These hashtags help us group conversations on a specific topic. This is great for marketers looking for like-minded target groups! But should you be worried about your privacy on Facebook with the introduction of hashtags? The answer is: not if you know how to control your privacy on Facebook. To learn more on hashtags and your privacy, continue reading…
Do Hashtags affect your privacy on Facebook?
According to Bianca Bosker – the Executive Tech Editor of the Huffington Post- “Facebook is moving away from friends with the introduction of hashtags”. In her article Bianca says:
“…adding hashtags to Facebook marks yet another move away from connecting people with others they know, and toward uniting users with the public at large. In a subtle but important way, the architecture of Facebook is changing to make it easier for strangers to find your stuff — which in turn, could change what you share.”
So, should you now be more worried about your privacy on Facebook? Not, according to Mari Smith -social media leader and Queen of Facebook. Mari has clearly clarified how these hashtags work on Facebook and how these affect your privacy on Facebook. This article is a collection of Mari’s valuable tips -shared publicly on Facebook– combined with what Facebook has to say about hashtags.
- Hashtags start with the # number sign and turn topics and phrases into clickable links on your personal timeline or page.
- Hashtags help people find posts about topics they are interested in, like the word #relationshipmarketing.
- If people click a hashtag they’ll see a feed of posts that have been shared with them (or are public).
- Hashtags work on personal profile posts, fan page posts, group posts, event posts, and all comments.
- On your personal timeline you can define your audience for the specific post with the audience selector. You can either choose public, friends, only me, or completely customize your audience. If you share your personal post publicly with a hashtag, everyone can see this post if they search for this specific hashtag on Facebook.
- Page posts are public by default. So, every page post with a specific hashtag will show up in the feed of posts for that specific hashtag.
- Private (friends-only, only me or a customized audience) posts with hashtags—are just that: private and visible to friends only, only you, or only to the specific audience you’ve selected for this post.
- As with all personal profile features on Facebook, privacy settings prevail.
- If you publish a post on your personal timeline to friends only, and the post contains a hashtag – yes, the hashtag will be clickable and open up to display all other posts on Facebook containing that hashtag. But, ONLY friends can see friends-only posts that show up in hashtag searches.
- Even when friends include hashtags in comments on your friends-only thread, your post is still private and visible just to your friends.
- With hashtags shared in private groups, that clickable hashtag will open to show public posts with that tag (along with any friends’ posts with that tag), but posts from the private group would only show to members.
- Individual comments on threads do not surface in hashtag searches; just posts show in searches.
- Facebook applies algorithms to hashtag feeds. Posts that show up in the popup box for a specific hashtag, are listed in popularity order and/or with social relevance.
- Every hashtag on Facebook has its own unique URL (like this example: facebook.com/hashtag/relationshipmarketing)
- You can conduct searches for hashtags in the regular search bar on Facebook.
- Or, just type in your browser: facebook.com/hashtag/xxx (replace the x’s with the tag you want to look up).
- You can click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
- You can Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
This is just the beginning of hashtags, according to the following statement of Facebook Greg Lindley:
“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. We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months, including trending hashtags and deeper insights, that help people discover more of the world’s conversations.”
I trust this post is helpful to clear up some of the confusion around hashtags and your privacy on Facebook. We love to hear your thoughts on hashtags! Please leave your comment in the box below.