BREAKING: Facebook Introduces @Mentions in Status Updates
BY BEN PARR
SEP 10, 2009
One of Twitter's strongest features is the @reply, where you can direct a message to someone else on Twitter by typing @ and then their username. Facebook, which is trying to emulate some of Twitter's best features, doesn't have anything similar in the News Feed. In short, it's not easy to have a public conversation.
Very soon, that will no longer be the case. Facebook just introduced the ability to tag your friends in status updates. What makes this really interesting though is how you tag people: Using the @ symbol. Facebook has just turned on their own version of Twitter's @Mentions feature that will be rolled out over the next few weeks. Here is Facebook engineer Tom Occhino's explanation of the new feature:
Now, when you are writing a status update and want to add a friend's name to something you are posting, just include the "@" symbol beforehand. As you type the name of what you would like to reference, a drop-down menu will appear that allows you to choose from your list of friends and other connections, including groups, events, applications and Pages. Soon, you'll be able to tag friends from applications as well. The "@" symbol will not be displayed in the published status update or post after you've added your tags.
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. We hope that tagging your status updates and others posts from the Publisher will enable you to share in a more meaningful and engaging way, and connect with even more people. We're rolling this feature out over the course of the next few weeks, so you may not see the new feature just yet.



Summary: The @ symbol now works just like Twitter, and not just for users, but for groups and fan pages as well.
Facebook has just stepped deep into Twitter's territory. How long until you can see your @reply history? We're betting not very long at all.
TOPICS: FACEBOOK, SOCIAL MEDIA
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