UPDATE: Four hours after our original coverage, LinkedIn has published a blog post formally announcing the new feature and noting that “This feature will begin rolling out to our English-speaking members today, and we look forward to bringing it to all global members soon.”

LinkedIn has confirmed with us that it is testing the ability to add Facebook-style mentions of people and companies in status updates and conversations.

The feature, seemingly not accessible in many accounts yet, works just like it does on Facebook. It adds a link to the person or company concerned, and sends a notification to that account that they got mentioned.

The Next Web’s co-founder, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, discovered LinkedIn mentions on his account this morning, thanks to a tooltip next to his status entry box.

Screen Shot 2013 04 04 at 10.43.23 AM LinkedIn is rolling out Facebook style linked mentions of people and companies in status updates

He tested it out with a quick mention of my name, receiving a drop-down menu.

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And yes, I received a notification email about the resulting status message (aw, thanks Boris!).

PastedGraphic 13 520x120 LinkedIn is rolling out Facebook style linked mentions of people and companies in status updates

While the implementation here is similar to Facebook, with automatic detection of names and a drop-down menu to select from as you type, linked mentions can be traced back to the early days of Twitter with the introduction of the ‘@mention’, which remains one of the simplest ways of stumbling upon new, interesting accounts.

The test follows last year’s introduction of endorsements, which we originally reported as being similar to a Facebook ‘Like’. However, they’re more like an easy way for LinkedIn to crowdsource tagged attributes for its users. Both endorsements and this new test assist in the discovery of new people within the sprawling social network that boasts more than 200 million registered users.

A LinkedIn spokesperson told us: “We are currently testing the ability for members to directly mention each other in professional conversations on LinkedIn. This test is part of our ongoing efforts to help members further engage with their networks in meaningful ways across the LinkedIn platform.”

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