Facebook just released a new app from the Creative Labs division called Mentions. Anytime someone on Facebook mentions your name or brand, the app captures the post and adds it to your Mentions feed. From here, you can easily respond with a comment. You can also use the app to upload your own updates and run live meet-ups.
One thing. You have to be a celebrity in order to use it.
Mentions is currently only available for people with verified Pages in the US. We plan to roll out to more countries and verified Profiles in the coming months. If you are an admin of a verified Page, you can request access to Mentions directly. If you are a public figure, you can also download the iPhone app to request access.
As a die-hard fan girl, I think this is cool. In the example above, singer Tyrese Gibson surprises a fan with a comment and kind words of support. That’s pretty cool and I imagine, much more difficult to do without this app. With Mentions, I can see a celebrity assistant checking the notifications, picking the special post that need a response then handing over the phone during a moment or two of downtime. It’s nice and it’s a great way for public figures to get real-time feedback from fans.
If they can handle it.
Not all mentions are going to be positive, most simply won’t be worth looking at. (New photo of Justin! Woo!) Will this app help the cream rise to the top? I’ll never know because even though I’m a terribly famous author, I don’t have a verified Facebook page. So insulting.
Which brings me to the other side of Mentions. It’s kind of insulting to the rest of us. Facebook is supposed to be about the masses. About people of all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds getting together for a communal pow-wow. Celebs are no better than the rest of us. They’re approachable and following their feeds makes them feel like friends.
But with Mentions, Facebook is singling them out as special with special privileges. On the third hand, most people outside of the app or social media industry won’t even know this app exists so it won’t burst their “I’m friends with a celeb on Facebook” bubble. Still. . . . it’s niggling at me.
Switching back to my business hat, it’s a smart way for Facebook to get public figures – actors, artists, musicians, athletes, politicians and influencers – to spend more time on the network.
What do you think? Fluff or a great idea?