Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Confused With Facebook's New Mention

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
We learn today that Facebook's highly publicized @mention feature is now live. After spending a few minutes playing with it and including status updates with coworker's names, I find little to be excited about. Maybe it is due to my own ignorance, but I do not understand what I am supposed to do with it.

My initial excitement about the feature was surrounding the ability to tag friends on updates. There are times that I find something online and share it with Facebook friends, via Twitter, Friendfeed, or Google Reader. At the time of sharing, I might have someone specific in mind, but they, most likely, are not using anything other than Facebook. In this case, I would love to tag the update, which notifies my friend directly and posts the shared item on their wall.

As I understand, or maybe misunderstand, the @mention feature, I can tag someone, but it looks like I am talking to them specifically. What if I have a list of people, do I have to openly tell the world who I am talking too? Is there a limit on the characters I can use in an update? If so, it just does not seem as useful.

Adam Ostrow, from Mashable, mentions that this feature make it a competition with Twitter, but I do not see how Facebook is anymore of a threat than it already was. What does this thing do that it was not essentially doing before?

While I may fail to see the obvious advantage of this new feature, I do see that my posts, when shared with @mention, posts to my friend's wall. Therefore, anyone who is a friend of my friend will see my update. This could be one way to gain more publicity for an update, but is it really worth it?

I look to you for guidance.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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