Facebook has typically relied on its users having strong one-to-one relationships, with connections developed between people based on existing relationships and shared experiences. The news feed has focused on showing updates that are deemed the most relevant to the user based on recent interactions with friends and pages or the popularity of updates with other friends. This social context has given Facebook a strong proposition for its users and advertisers however it has struggled to capitalize on the opportunity to engage users in topical events and discussions.
Facebook will roll out hashtags for events, people and topics, allowing users to view a feed of updates from all users who have included the hashtag in their post, regardless of their connection. Hashtags will be clickable within the platform to see what other users and Pages are saying about a particular event or topic. The visibility of the hashtagged content will depend on the privacy settings determined by the user for updates.