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Facebook rolling out hashtag support for mobile devices

It was a pretty big deal when Facebook made hashtags clickable on the web. Now, the social network has extended hashtags to mobile devices as well.

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that the company has begun rolling out hashtag support for its HTML5 mobile site At this point, however, hashtags are still non-functional on Facebook's iOS and Android apps.

Facebook first introduced hashtags two weeks ago, but only on its main site on the web. Hashtags — one or more words strung together with no spaces behind a pound sign — gained in popularity in 2009, when Twitter began hyperlinking them to search results. They are often used to clarify or add context to a post, and in recent years have extended beyond Twitter to services like Google+ and Yahoo's Flickr.

On Facebook, you can click on a hashtag to see a feed of what other people and pages are saying about the same event or topic. If you're looking for something specific, you can search for hashtags, like #NBAFinals, directly from the Facebook search bar.

In addition to expanding hashtags to mobile, Facebook yesterday launched related hashtags, TechCrunch reported. When you search for a particular hashtag, such as #equality, the results page will offer up related hashtags, like #DOMA.

Facebook has just started rolling out this feature, so it may take a bit of time to make its way to all users, a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, Facebook also launched a beta testing programme for its Android app, which will allow users to opt in and test out pre-release versions. Anyone with an Android device - whether it's running Gingerbread or Jelly Bean - can join the programme.