Facebook Inc (FB) Hashtags Have Negligible Viral Impact

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s much hyped hashtag feature did no good to the social networking site, according to new data released by Facebook analytics service EdgeRank Checker. As per the data, hashtags hardly had any impact on the site, with no extra traffic and no viral reach.


Contrary to expectations, this feature might be creating a negative impact.

Posts with hashtags have less viral reach

The data from EdgeRank is both surprising and disheartening, showing that posts with hashtags have less viral reach compared to plain text posts.

Data released by EdgeRank on Hashtag has been subjected to thorough analysis by observing more than 500 pages in July. There were 35,000 posts on these pages out of which 6,000 posts had hashtags. EdgeRank has averaged each Page’s performance with and without hashtags.

“The data shows that posts that didn’t include a hashtag performed better than posts with hashtag… posts with hashtags don’t increase viral reach,” EdgeRank wrote in a blog post.

Why Facebook hashtags are not popular

Hashtags are not so popular on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and EdgeRank feels the reason is that brands are not utilizing this feature properly and in turn users are reluctant to click on these sites.

EdgeRank wrote that users use hashtag generally in promotional material. They create campaigns around particular hashtags and then use them in all posts related to the campaign. As campaigns are promotional in nature, they hardly generate any interests and clicks.

Hashtags popular on Twitter

Hashtags are the brain child of micro blogging site Twitter, which gives users a feature to start a real time conversation on events and television shows globally. The idea behind hashtags is that users will be curious to discover more about that particular topic and chances of that topic going viral increases. With the same idea, Facebook rolled out this feature in June for desktop and added mobile support few weeks after.

EdgeRank was surprised by the results of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) hashtags, and analyzed Twitter hashtags as well to confirm on the method applied. In the analysis, EdgeRank found that hashtags proved to be helpful for viral reach on Twitter.

“For Twitter, using a hashtag typically resulted in roughly double the likelihood of being ReTweeted,” EdgeRank wrote. “Over 70 percent of the brands experienced an increase in RT’s when using a hashtag versus not using one.”

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