Facebook announced it will roll out a new feature. Well, it's new for Facebook, but quite old for the social media world. Introducing Facebook hashtags (for real, even Google + has hashtags). They will work in the same way they do on Twitter and are designed to generate and boost conversation.
In other words, Facebook has given up trying to compete with their rivals. Instagram, last start-up to pose a threat to it's photo service, one aspect of Facebook that looks to have longevity potential as a photo-album right now, was bought out for $1 billion last year.
Facebook has driven younger users away while opening themselves up to older generations (read: people with money), while the exiting users are diversifying their platforms. SnapChat is a great tool for sharing photos with friends without annoying the hell out of them, because who can really appreciate your view, kid or dinner for more than a few seconds? Twitter is a place for news and conversation without an endless diatribe that populates your Facebook wall. Reddit is a place for breaking news that targets interests. It goes on.
Facebook used to have all of that territory to itself, but it's losing customers to those platforms that more-effectively provide niche services. That's terrible news for a company that has already experienced a major IPO flop and another debacle with the failure of the Facebook phone. And we haven't even gotten into the recent outcry about privacy on the web.
It is an interesting time for the leaders of social media, particularly as MySpace makes it's second attempt at success. They're focusing on what they believe they did best, which is provide a platform for musicians to share music and make connections. Time will tell whether they are able to overcome the dinosaur punchline "MySpace" has become in the internet age.
Facebook should be sure to pay attention, #JustInCase.