Facebook has mastered the art of generating buzz around much anticipated feature rollouts. Facebook hashtags are no exception. There has been chatter online and offline alike around whether hashtags will ever have meaning on Facebook, despite current widespread use. Since the advent of the hashtag in 2007 it had been widely adopted by prominent social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ as a way to aggregate and participate in topic specific conversation. So, the real question regarding the Facebook hashtag transcendence is what it actually means for marketers. #Discovery When Facebook released the updated algorithm decreasing the visibility of brand posts among their audience, many brands were forced to rethink their social strategy. In order to garner the same type of reach, they needed to become smarter and more in-tune with the type of content that resonated with their community. The introduction of hashtags now provides brands with another layer of visibility. These now clickable hashtags will bring up a list of posts from friends and followed pages that contain the tag allowing for a greater level of content discovery outside of users' immediate friend circle. While Twitter remains their biggest competitor in the social space, perhaps this move, coupled with the introduction of Graph Search, points to Facebook now setting its sights on Google. #Amplification Facebook hashtags now have the potential to make hashtag-based campaigns even more impactful through cross-channel amplification of the message. If brands are already using hashtags in a campaign through other channels, these campaigns can now extend to Facebook. Hashtags only amplify the native role Facebook plays in joining and driving conversations. However, the same best practices on Facebook still apply ' compelling copy and photography that are in the brand voice work best. #Insight Facebook is already a data mine in and of itself, but hashtags provide a deeper layer of conversation-based insight for brands. According to Facebook, this is only the first step in surfacing relevant and important public conversations. Over time we will see additional functionality for marketers, including trending hashtags and new insights to allow brands to better understand conversations that may help drive business objectives. Hashtags certainly mark an important shift toward conversation-based marketing for Facebook, and we are eager to see where they go next. The great news is that at the very least, we can now all rest assured that when we see our friend's annoying and irrelevant hashtag on Facebook; it will be aggregated into a group of other people's annoying, irrelevant hashtags. #phew.
Let's face it. At AMP, we LOVE the Internet. And, we want to share our geeky, awesome, internet/techy finds with you on a weekly basis. In this week's edition of the Insights Lab Weekly Round Up, we'll take a look at some tools available to help keep you organized in the age of information overload. With the sad news that Google Reader can no longer act as a go-to tool for delivering daily snippets of goodness, we turned our attention to alternative organizational/ content management tools and services. Where to Read? With Google's abrupt Spring cleaning announcement, Google Reader fans need to find a new tool to manage their daily content. Fear not, the friendly Reeder app is still a viable alternative as evidenced by the reassuring words posted on the app's official Twitter account: There's also quite a buzz around Feedly (already home to 500,000 Google Reader refugees), Pulse and Flipboard as front runners to replace Google Reader. After Google pulls the plug on July 1st, one of these contenders will take the throne. Stay tuned. All in One While not quite an organizational tool for your daily digest of news and entertainment, unroll.me helps "end your email overload." Fatigued by the constant influx of daily deal emails, Unroll.me is an easy way to unsubscribe and rollup the rest into a customized, organized overview. #hashtagonthebook According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook may jump on the #hashtag bandwagon. The WSJ cites that "Facebook is testing whether to follow Twitter's lead and allow users to click on a hashtag to pull up all posts about similar topics or events so it can quickly index conversations around trending topics and build those conversations up, giving users more reason to stay logged in and see more ads." While the hashtag functionality would enable Facebook to serve as a real-time news source similar to Twitter, there are a number of privacy concerns around the potential update. What services, apps and tools help you manage the daily influx of information? Share in the comments section below.