Despite their increasing popularity, hashtags no longer work on Linkedin. Whilst still hyperlinked, clicking on a hashtag in the News Feed takes you to a Help Page explaining the withdrawal of Linked Signal.
However, as you can see the explanation is not particularly helpful as no reference is made to hashtags; only Signal. I’ve pointed this out to LinkedIn and they’re likely to make the text clearer in the next few days. LinkedIn Signal was a feature introduced in 2010 that allowed you to search for and filter news and status updates by keyword, topic or person.
Stating the need to continually improve the everyday experience on ‘the professional’s network’, LinkedIn have said that Signal has been dropped so it can focus on ‘creating better tools and experiences.’ It’s hard to reconcile this with the retirement of hashtags and strange that they are even considered part of Signal as they were only introduced in February this year; three years after the introduction of Signal.
The decision to withdraw hashtags is surprising given their increasing popularity and usefulness on social networks like Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. Only last month, Facebook capitalised on this by introducing hashtags. They are a great way to focus conversation around topics and help people find and join in with conversations. For businesses and brands, hashtags are a powerful way to raise awareness of their products and services and to highlight campaigns and events.
Given theses benefits perhaps LinkedIn will reconsider and bring hashtags back? I can’t see any disadvantages and no technical reasons not to do so. If you’d like to hashtags make a return please tweet @LinkedIn with, “Please re-consider your decision to withdraw hashtags. #BringBackLinkedInHashtags.” [click to tweet].
Update 19 August 2013 - Hashtags are now no longer hyperlinked and aren’t linked to the Help section. They are now no different from normal text.