Facebook has taken one giant bite out of Twitter by adding a new @mentions or “tagging” feature to status updates. You will now have the ability to identify and reference people in photos, videos and notes.
How it Works
Once enabled for your account, you’ll be able to tag a friend by simply typing the @ symbol which will automatically reveal a drop down menu with a list of your friends and other connections including groups, events, applications and pages. You’ll soon also being to tag friends in applications too.
Notably, the “@” symbol will not appear on the status update after you’ve pressed to submit it which should help with not over complicating status updates and such.
Friends you tag in your status updates will receive a notification and a Wall post linking them to your post. They also will have the option to remove tags of themselves from your posts.
Make or break for Twitter
Let us not underestimate the influence of this new feature, it not only brings an entirely new referencing tool into the Facebook platform but will also bring level of discussion and openness the site has yet to experience.
Whether you will be able to @mention or “tag” someone who is not within your friends list, we’ve yet to see, but irrespective, it will introduce the entire @mention concept to people unfamiliar with it and one hand, it could could help non-geeks familiarize themselves faster with Twitter, or, on the other hand, wonder what the point of joining Twitter is when all its USP’s are available on Facebook.
Inside Facebook quite right notes the significance of the feature to page admins.
“Fan pages will now have a major new channel for tracking comments and feedback about their brand or business. Up until now, brands have been able to track posts and comments made on their Facebook Page directly by fans, as well as search public comments made by Facebook users through Facebook’s new real time search. Starting today, all @ tags will appear on the wall of the Page as well, even though users never visited the Page. ”
I still say Twitter is deepest in trouble once someone enables importing of Twitter friends into Facebook.