As we all know Facebook loves to change its settings and add new features constantly. The latest is to introduce clickable hashtags and follow Twitter’s lead. This means that if you put a hash in front of a word it will become clickable for others to view, depending on your privacy settings.
The good news is that Facebook has said that it will honour people’s privacy settings like it does with the Graph Search ability. Therefore if you have your privacy settings set to “Friends only” then you will be fine. The problem arises when people don’t check their posting settings. For many people their posts are set to “Public” often with them not even realizing. I have noticed this especially when posting from phones. In the past even if you posted something under the public category it wasn’t too bad as there was no real centralized way to search but this has now changed. Furthermore now that Facebook has switched on this functionality it applies to all your past posts with hashtags as well.
How to check your privacy settings
With the above in mind you might want to double check your privacy settings and understand what and to whom you are posting. To check your privacy settings (from a webpage) click on the lock icon in the top right hand corner of the page. Click on the section where it says “Who can see my stuff?” and make sure that the “Who can see my future posts?” is set to Friends. If you are concerned with your previous posts then if you click on “More settings” in the same section, go and find and click on the section “Limit The Audience for posts you’ve shared with Friends of Friends or Public“. Here it gives you the option to set all of your past posts to Friends only if you desire. After that you’re good to go!
For those who want to enjoy using the new hashtag ability all you need to do is put a hash in front of a word and it will become hashtag clickable and thus searchable. To carry out a hashtag search of those who are talking about the same topic just click on the hashtag which will now be a link once something is posted, much like the same way that Twitter works. Alternatively you can also just search for hashtags by using the search function within Facebook and inputting a hashtag such as #privacy ;).
Hope this helps people! What do you make of the new hashtag functionality? Do you think it works or should Facebook just keep doing it’s own thing and stop trying to copy Twitter? Let us know your thoughts.