Facebook says the move is an effort to promote more public conversations on the social network, after hashtags have become increasingly popular on Twitter. The symbol will be used to facilitate larger discussions, following in the footsteps of other social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook's own Instagram.
The adoption is effective today, and users will now be able to search for specific hashtags within Facebook to see what others are saying, as well as click on hashtags that originate on other services like Instagram. Users will also be able to compose posts directly within the hashtag feed as well as within search results. Facebook says it will be rolling out more features including trending hashtags.
Facebook notes that users will be able to control the audience of posts via privacy controls, including posts that incorporate hashtags. Hashtags have become an important aspect of real-time marketing.