Facebook Inc.’s Mentions app is landing in Canada today, allowing public figures to quickly post updates to their pages, to track what users are saying about them, to start a mobile Q and A session, and to see what’s trending on the social network.
First announced in July, Mentions originally debuted in the U.S., but it’s now available in more than 40 other countries around the world. The app only really applies to “public figures” with Facebook-verified Pages – so here in Canada, that would be well-known people like federal politician Justin Trudeau, astronaut Chris Hadfield, and Toronto artist Drake. It also caters to actors, athletes, musicians, and anyone else who is famous and wants to jump into conversations with their fans on Facebook.
While no mention has been made of how marketers or brands might make use of this app – it seems as though it’s limited to famous people and their PR teams – Mentions is only available to those with verified Pages. Verified pages can be granted to celebrities, journalists, government officials, and popular brands and businesses, according to Facebook’s definition of verified pages, so it may not be farfetched to see marketers making use of this to interact with their audiences.
This isn’t the first app that changes up how Facebook users interact with each other. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network has been overhauling some of its core messaging apps, announcing recently it would be moving away from the message feature in Facebook and pushing users towards using Facebook Messenger, a separate app, instead.
That’s amid privacy concerns about the Facebook Messenger app, as headlines in the media say the app can allow Facebook to call numbers and send texts, record audio, snap pictures and video, and to view the phone’s call history, all without user intervention.
That being said, Facebook appears to be shifting its mobile strategy in several ways, and one of them is by divvying up the number of ways users can communicate with each other. Whether Mentions and the new Facebook Messenger takes off, with wide user acceptance, is something it appears to be testing out.