Will Facebook Hashtags Kill Twitter?

Till Tuesday 11th June 2013 ‘Hashtags’ were rumored to be part of Facebook, but on 12th June 2013 Facebook officially announced that ‘Hashtags’ feature will soon be rolling out to all the profiles across the world. Hashtag is a feature that is smartly copied from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. However, Twitter was the first […]

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Till Tuesday 11th June 2013 ‘Hashtags’ were rumored to be part of Facebook, but on 12th June 2013 Facebook officially announced that ‘Hashtags’ feature will soon be rolling out to all the profiles across the world. Hashtag is a feature that is smartly copied from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. However, Twitter was the first social networking site to invent usage of Hashtags to collaborate tweeters under one single roof of a topic.

Hashtag is charm of Twitter! It helps us express with the community! It helps us be part of conversation without being part of communities! Hashtags is a marketer’s best friend as many marketers across the Globe use Hashtag feature for brands to host contests and become locally, nationally and globally trending – making the word of brand reach out to most & more!

Hashtag distinguished Twitter from Facebook apart from its 140 character messaging service.

Hashtag = Twitter’s Unique Selling Proposition!

Many brands globally are using Twitter mainly for two purposes:

  1. Listening Ability – You can listen to tweets, conversations, and opinions by adding keywords in the Twitter’s search bar.
  2. Collaborating Ability – Collaborating tweeters and tweets under a single platform using a common – Hashtag and aiming to make it trend to reach out to most & more (for an example: Read – Audi India’s Twitter Marketing Case Study)

Facebook Hashtag = Could be Death of Twitter – Read How! 

Before I proceed with my thoughts on it, carefully read these lines from Facebook’s blog post:

During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook – roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night. The recent “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, received over 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, representing a significant portion of the 5.2 million people who watched the show. And this year’s Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts.

To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about.

To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook.

The above lines from Facebook Blog is a clear evidence – Till date people were discussing about a particular incident on Facebook but it had no mass ‘collaboration’ point which was a distinct feature of Twitter. People on Twitter discussed TV serials, Sports, Disasters etc. and were united together under a common roof of Trending Topics!

Don’t you remember how popular Indian Sports – IPL created charm for #PepsiIPL on Twitter and how the Umpire used to interact with Tweeters who directly tweeted him while he was giving live commentary.

You must also be aware that Indian Reality Shows such as India’s Best Draamebaaz on Zee TV encouraged people to tweet their opinions with #IBD bringing the merge point of traditional and social media.

Any day, there are more Facebook users than Twitter users! People spend more time on Facebook than on Twitter (at least in India).

In India there are about 60+ Million Facebook users and hardly 20 Million Twitter users. ‘Hashtags’ for many in India will be a completely NEW thing – they would give Credits to Facebook any day as they have never used Twitter before!

Posts remain stagnant on timeline for a particular point of time on Facebook but flows like water on Twitter and hence it is clear Brands, Reality Shows, Sports league will slowly shift the ‘Hashtag’ based activities from Twitter to Facebook.

When influencers move, audience will move too!

We will slowly start using hashtags on Facebook! Start participating in all the ‘Hashtag’ based contest and activities hosted by brands on Facebook!

What other Feature did Facebook Copy from Twitter?

  1. Facebook introduced ‘Follow Feature’ – even if you are not friends with a person on Facebook – you can still ‘Follow’ him! Posts made by him/her – for public view would reach on your timeline.
  2. Facebook introduced ‘List Feature’ – that allowed you to categorize your friends in your network and perform activities accordingly. However, this feature was a replica from Google+ circles! But, still ‘Twitter Lists’ were all about categorizing and sorting few tweeters you liked.
  3. Facebook allowed ‘Public Posts’ – Previously, posts made on Facebook were restrictive to friends, or friends of friends. Public Posts feature made your posts searchable, audible and viewable for people inside and outside your network.
  4. Facebook copied ‘Verified Account’ – for Business pages where brands can claim ‘verified’ tick symbol from Facebook for its authenticity similar to as Twitter’s Verified account symbol.

Looking at it from all possible perspective, I am fearing one of my favorite most platforms – Twitter might loose its charm if Facebook hashtags comes into the scene. What’s your take? Do you think Facebook Hashtags will impact the growth and usage of Twitter?  

Image Source: Perizhilton.com

1 Comment

  1. Radha Giri

    Nice post Sorav. I personally don’t think this (or such) moves by Facebook will kill the Twitter charm. For various reasons:
    1) Twitter is a quick read. I personally go on Twitter many times to just grab quick bytes of information (around the world). Facebook has more been time for connecting with friends and family (and know about brands) and a more leisure activity
    2) Twitter is less visual than FB so viewing it from phone is easy. Loading of timeline with images etc takes time on FB. So when it comes to grabbing more information in short time, Twitter is the platform for me
    3) For many individuals, Twitter is the channel of ‘official/ professional’ communication and Facebook is more for personal communication. So mixing of content will get difficult for them
    4) I also doubt what charm will Facebook hashtags have with the lot of privacy settings in Facebook (unlike just private/ public posts Tweets) 🙂

    And yes, I would be very keen to see how it unfolds. But I really wish these platforms innovate something new and stop this copy cat business 🙂


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