#ATLAST: Facebook rolls out hashtags

Katie McHugh Associate Editor
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Hashtags on Facebook just became clickable, the social media giant announced Wednesday.

Users will now be able to search for specific hashtags across multiple sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, among others, and can compose posts while viewing hashtag feeds.

“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,” said spokesman Greg Lindley.

Facebook reassured users they will still control privacy settings for their posts: If a user includes a hashtag in a post while limiting the audience to friends, the post will not appear in public search results. Public posts will always appear in search results for both individuals and Pages alike.

The move is the latest push from Facebook to encourage its users to use it as a global platform, rather than confining their conversations to only family and friends. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Facebook began to develop the new feature as it fought to earn more advertising dollars, connect to more mobile users and compete with Twitter, the original online conversation collator.

Facebook recently challenged Google with its new feature, Graph Search, which allows users to search friends’ through timelines using specific criteria.

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