(courtesy of Fotolia)

The hashtag — # — is now a part of Facebook, and the tech shorthand should make it easier for users to follow specific topics of conversation on the social network. Either that, or it will drive its users more nutty by adding yet another visual annoyance.

Twitter popularized the use of the hashtag, which has subsequently been picked up by other social media sites like Instagram (owned by Facebook), Tumblr and Pinterest.

Starting immediately, Facebook said Wednesday, “hashtags on Facebook allow you to add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag in Facebook, you’ll see a feed of what other people and Pages are saying about that event or topic.”

Twitter’s hashtag use has been very popular for connecting real-time tweets — limited to 140 characters — about news, sports and for TV watchers, sharing reactions to everything from who’s wearing what at the Academy Awards to comments about the “Games of Thrones” upsets.

Click here to read more.