hashfacebokThe use of the hashtag has become synonymous with searching for relevant content on sites like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, so when Facebook decided to acknowledge the hashtag you’d think it would be just as useful? Apparently it’s quite the opposite.

According to new data released yesterday by Facebook analytics service, EdgeRank Checker, revealed that posts which included a hashtag on Facebook received less viral impact that those without. It seems that people on Facebook are actively avoiding posts containing hashtags – I never saw that one coming.

Median-Viral-Reach-for-HashtagsIn fact according to EdgeRank Checker, in no way, shape, or form did posts with hashtags actually increase virality amongst brands. In some cases it actually decreased whenever a hashtag was used.

“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,” EdgeRank wrote in a blog post“Organic Reach had a decrease when using hashtags.”

EdgeRank decided to explore some new territory and gathered some Twitter data to compare the results to those found with Facebook. And it seems that the hashtag on Twitter actually does increase the reach and virality of posts.

“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.”

So the results are in. Facebook’s hashtag feature has been available to almost everyone for a few months now but it seems that no one really cares, and those that do, actively avoid posts which contain hashtags.

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