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Facebook launches Mentions, an app for famous people only

We’ve known for a while that Mark Zuckerberg and co. are keen to launch lots of standalone apps, but we had little idea the company was planning to release one aimed at a specific category of Facebook users – public figures.

The new iPhone-only app, called Facebook Mentions, will apparently make it easier for famous people to communicate with their fans.

In a blog post announcing its launch, Facebook product manager Allison Swope said that with so many people connecting with public figures on its site, and with more than a billion interactions taking place between them every week, “interacting with athletes, musicians, actors and other influencers is an important part of their experience.”

IntroducingMentions_3

According to Swope, Mentions makes it easier for users (famous ones) to:

– Share your story by posting updates, sharing photos or videos, or hosting a live Q&A.
– Join popular conversations on Facebook and see the latest posts from people you follow.
– Get streamlined notifications about your posts, including mentions from other influencers or the media.

Essentially, it appears that Mentions offers users a clutter-free version of its service while offering a more efficient way to interact with fans.

With many regular Facebook users enjoying the opportunity to engage with celebrities and the like, the company wants to encourage famous figures to get more involved and give more back, creating a happier (and more loyal) user base in the process.

The arrival of the app will be viewed by some as partly an attempt by the social media site to impress those personalities who prefer the simple and more direct nature of Twitter to connect with fans.

Currently available only to US-based users with verified Pages, Facebook plans to make the app available in more countries over time.

To request access to the app’s functionality (are you famous enough?), you first need to download it, which you can do via the iTunes store here.

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