How Facebook Hashtags Impact Your Privacy

Facebook users: Get ready to see a lot more of the hashtag in your News Feed.

The social network announced yesterday that it is rolling out the popular feature to users over the next few weeks.

Hashtags, made famous by microblogging site Twitter and used on a number of other social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, turn topics and phrases into clickable links on your personal timeline or your Page. They also make your post searchable.

"To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about," says Greg Lindley, product manager at Facebook. Hashtags, he says, will help bring more conversations to the forefront.

According to Facebook, hashtags will appear blue and will redirect to a search page with other posts that include the same hashtag.

As part of the rollout, Facebook says you will also be able to click hashtags that originated on other services, such as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. It also plans to roll out additional features, including trending hashtags, in the near future, it says.

While hashtags are widely used on other sites, there are a couple of things you need to know about the new feature and how it does and doesn't affect your Facebook privacy.

First, adding a hashtag does not affect the privacy of your post. If your privacy settings are set to Friends, for example, only your friends can view it. Similarly, if your friends search for a hashtag that you've used in the past, your post will appear only to them-and no one else-in search results, Facebook says.

"As always, you control the audience for your posts, including those with hashtags," Lindley says.

Second, if you use a hashtag in a post you publish and you want it to be searchable to everyone, remember that your most-recent privacy setting is the one Facebook will default to for subsequent posts, unless you change it back.

<[Want more tips, tricks and details on Facebook? Check out CIO.com's Facebook Guide.]

For example, say your privacy settings are "Friends Only." You decide to change the privacy setting for one particular post to "Public." Your subsequent posts will be public unless you change it back to "Friends Only."

Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and social business for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at kburnham@cio.com

Read more about consumer in CIO's Consumer Drilldown.

Tags: Tumblr, facebook tips, social networking, internet, social networking privacy, social networks, hashtags, Facebook, privacy, Facebook hashtags, Pinterest, Applications | Consumer, Instagram, security, facebook privacy, twitter, software, facebook changes, facebook how to, Internet-based applications and services, applications, facebook news

Google introduces Chrome 'factory reset' pop-ups to tackle extensions hijacks

READ THIS ARTICLE
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]
Comments are now closed.
CSO Corporate Partners
  • Webroot
  • Trend Micro
  • NetIQ
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to CSO, invitation only events, reports & analysis.
CSO Directory

Web Security and Control

Protect your users on the web

Latest Jobs
Security Awareness Tip

Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).


  1. Have an incident response plan.

  2. Pre-define your incident response team 

  3. Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.

  4. Pre-distribute call cards.

  5. Forensic and incident response data capture.

  6. Get your users on-side.

  7. Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement. 

  8. Practice makes perfect.

For the full breakdown on this article

Security ABC Guides

Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.