#Braceyourself, the # is finally here.

For many, it’s already here. People have been hashtagging their lives on Facebook for years now for reasons unknown. But now Facebook has taken the concept pioneered by Twitter and actually granted it a modicum of functionality.

Facebook users will soon be able to classify their posts by using the #hashtag system, similar to it’s use on Twitter.

This is exceptionally good news for brands. Whereas previously, unless you had a group of foundation “fans” who would join your community from the get go, your choices for growing your audience read thusly: Facebook advertising, Promoted Posts….

Well that was pretty much it. Without fans, initial organic growth for Pages through Facebook just wasn’t a terribly viable option. You paid up, or you remained static.

Now, organisations will be able to strategically use popular hashtags to get their feet in the door of user searches, if not necessarily their newsfeeds. No money down.

It’s a great step in the right direction for organisations that are looking to earn a community, rather than simply buy one. Whilst it may be a controversial comment, the quality of audiences bought through advertising is of questionable value when compared to audiences that discover Pages organically.

Having a hash tagging system gives organisations the ability to get their material in front of all types of users, not just those that Facebook targets through its action-optimised advertising/ post promoting system. For individual users, prepare to come face to face with a bit more brand-based content.

Of course, to harness the effectiveness of #hashtagging, organisations will still need to build content that users are actually interested in. Also, who knows how many users will actually browse through the hashtag lists.

Whilst It remains to be seen how Facebook will monetise this new feature, and there are many who believe promotable hashtags are only just around the corner…