Data Shows Facebook Hastags Are Meaningless

Hashtags were created by Twitter, and even though other social media networks try to replicate Twitter’s success with them, it seems that it just doesn’t work. New data released by EdgeRank Checker, a Facebook analytics service, shows that hashtags have no effect on the world’s most popular social network. In fact, hashtags may have a negative effect.

Hashtags usually work like this. You see a hashtag of a topic you are interested in. By clicking it, you are forwarded to similar content. So hashtags usually allow more viral reach, due to the ability to quickly jump to other tweets, posts, etc. of the same topic. But according to EdgeRank Checker, Facebook posts with hashtags have less viral reach that ones without hashtags.

This is in stark contast to Twitter. EdgeRank tested them as well and found that adding a hashtag doubled the chance of your tweet being retweeted.

EdgeRank Checker’s hypothesis as to why Facebook’s hashtags don’t increase viral-ability is that people simply don’t click Facebook hashtags. Perhaps it takes time for Facebook users to get into the hashtag game, or people don’t want to be redirected from their scroll down their newsfeed.

EdgeRank Checker mostly looked into corporate Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, but the data stayed roughly the same no matter how many followers or fans an account had. So you might as well stop hashtagging things on Facebook.

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