AfroHashtagFacebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the reasoning behind the social network’s launch of hashtags in June in response to a question from Wells Fargo Analyst Peter Stabler during the company’s third-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Stabler asked:

You introduced hashtags in June, and I am just wondering if you could comment on usage trends — how strategically important hashtags are to index in the knowledge graph going forward, and where hashtags could become a meaningful part of an ad-targeting opportunity in the future if usage catches on in a significant way.

And Zuckerberg replied:

The launch of hashtags was more just following behavior that we see from people, right? All we really did was take hashtags that people are putting into the product and make them linked, so you could find other posts that have the same tag.

The effort that I think you are latching on to is basically we are putting some more effort now into both public content on Facebook and more private content, right? As there are a bunch of different sets of people that a person will want to share with — one is all of their friends, but a lot of the sharing and the communication done is one-on-one in messaging or with small groups or with the communities.

Then there is a large set of content that’s public, which is often very high-quality content, as well, and we have efforts in all of those areas to make it so that people can share all of those different kinds of contents on Facebook. That’s going to be something that we are going to continue to do.

Readers: What are your thoughts on hashtags on Facebook?

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