Why Google+ doesn't need hashtags

Hashtags, the practice of tagging posts with a keyword preceded by #, became popular via Twitter.

Hashtags are a solution to a problem. The problem is that Twitter search sucks.

The hashtag solution, however, comes with its own problem. Some or most of the tweets on Twitter that fall under the hashtag's topic do not get hashtagged by the poster. As a result, searching a hashtag brings up only a subset of the results you're looking for.

Worse, people who use hashtags tend to be the self-promoters. So hashtag searching favors people actively seeking attention, and is blind to tweets by people who are just posting great content. I think I used to post pretty good stuff on Twitter. In my more than 14,000 tweets, I don't think I ever used hashtags.

Google+ doesn't need hashtags, because it has three things Twitter does not have:

1. Great search. Looking for something? Search for it! Unlike on Twitter, or Facebook, for that matter, you will find it.

2. Longer posts. One reason Tweeps feel the need for hashtags is that the 140 character limit greatly reduces searchable words in each post. Without the restriction, people are likely to use a word or string of words you can use to search and find the items you're looking for.

3. Comment threads. If search fails you, just post an item telling your circle friends what you're looking for, and they'll help you find it.

Hashtags are a crutch for a crippled service. Google+ doesn't need the crutch because it's not crippled.
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