Facebook is taking a move out of Twitter's playbook and officially adding support for the hashtag. Starting today, Facebook users will be able to search for and click on hashtags — as represented by the traditional # symbol — to see a stream of images, posts, and links all tagged with a given phrase. But unlike on Twitter, that stream will be drastically limited by privacy settings, and users will only be able to see public posts and content made visible to them by friends.
Even so, the change should make posts imported from other services, notably Twitter and Instagram, feel less out of place on Facebook. Before today, imported tweets that included hashtags would simply display as plain text. Now, that content will include the rich exploration features offered elsewhere. It's a small change, but it could make posts from other networks feel a little bit less stale when they arrive on Facebook, which has traditionally struggled to get its users to post about the "now."
Update: Facebook tells us that while hashtags have been enabled for some users, it'll take a few weeks before everyone can interact with them.