On social networks, hashtags are meant to hype exposure for various topics or products. So when Facebook rolled out its new hashtag feature in June, they certainly believed that if people see an object in the news feed with a hashtag they’re interested in, they will click the hashtag to discover more interesting content related to the particular hashtag.
But how did this really go?
Well, EdgeRank Checker, specialized in Facebook analytics services, released new data on Tuesday that shows Facebook hashtags reportedly do nothing or worse for the social network — Posts with hashtags actually have less Viral Reach, on average, than posts with hashtags. Brands using hashtags should hypothetically be receiving additional exposure from other brands who are using these same hashtags.
(Credit: EdgeRank Checker)
Actually, EdgeRank wrote in a recent blog post.
The data shows that posts that didn’t include a hashtag performed better than posts with hashtags… posts with hashtags don’t increase viral reach.
Popularized by Twitter, hashtags let social networkers insert themselves into real-time conversations happening around events, television shows, and breaking news. Theoretically, users will click on hashtags to discover more content related to that topic. Ideally, certain topics will start trending or even go viral. Facebook launched its hashtag feature for desktop in June and then added mobile support a couple of weeks later.
EdgeRank analyzed Facebook hashtags by looking at more than 500 Pages in July. Within these Pages, there were more than 35,000 posts, of which more than 6,000 had hashtags. To get the metrics, EdgeRank averaged each Page’s performance with and without hashtags.
No matter how EdgeRank tallied the data — such as based on how many fans a user had, time of posting, and consistency of hashtag use — the Facebook hashtags did nothing for their users.
Do you use hashtags on Facebook?