Facebook has finally come out with its quietly tested, long awaited iPhone app, Mentions, now available for download. But if you want to get any use out of it, get famous first. Mentions was created exclusively for celebrities.
Users will notice two big things:
- The emphasis is on posting new messages, photos and videos, instead of reading what your pals have put up.
- There is a Mentions tab that’s supposed to make it easy for stars to see what people are saying about them. It looks strikingly like the “@” tab that Twitter has always had — and also uses the term “mentions.” It is another in a series of moves that are … inspired by Twitter’s playbook. (Source: Re/code)
Sound like another popular social networking site? Don’t be surprised. Mentions is Facebook’s more direct attempt at competing with its social networking rival, Twitter. The app was created in an attempt to increase “public content”, content that is consumed by a massive amount of people, and public sharing. In the past, Facebook hasn’t been utilized by celebrities nearly as much as Twitter. With thousands, even millions, of fans to keep up with as well as full-time careers, Hollywood’s cream of the crop don’t have time to scroll through their Newsfeed. Twitter makes it easy to “quickly scan down a column of @replies from fans” and respond on the go.
With its Twitter-esque features, Mentions is expected to boost Facebook’s popularity among the stars. Facebook product managers have been reported to say that the handful of celebrity testers have been posting twice as much since using the app. Apparently, Mentions will be made available to slightly less prestigious Facebook users later on (whatever that means), and then to ordinary users sometime in the future.
For now, if you are a “verified public figure” with a little blue check mark next to your Facebook profile name and a public page all your own, download Mentions from the iTunes store to see what people are saying about you. To everyone else, sorry: VIPs only.