There’s a little-known app released by Facebook that, until recently, could only be used by famous people verified by the social network.
It’s called Facebook Mentions.
Mentions is a better way for influential people to “keep in touch with their fans,” according to the company. It’s only accessible to verified Facebook users, a privilege that was previously reserved for celebrities, sports stars, and musicians. You can tell someone is verified because they have a blue tick next to their name.
Since journalists can now be verified too, we downloaded the app to see what it does and how it differs from regular Facebook.
Here's the first screen you'll see when you fire up the app. Don't recognise these vloggers? Then you're probably not cool or famous enough to use the app.
Here's where Facebook explains the exclusivity of its Mentions app. It's for 'influencers,' you see.
The News Feed is just like the normal app, but every verified profile or page has a blue tick next to it. That helps you scan through and spot your famous friends. The screenshot on the left is normal Facebook (no blue ticks), and the image on the right is Facebook Mentions.
If I were a celebrity then this page would be filled with posts from my fans. But I'm not, so it's empty.
I stuck 'Business Insider' into the app and it showed me lots of posts that mentioned Business Insider. Celebrities can use this to pop up and surprise their fans with comments or likes.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of regular Facebook and Facebook Mentions, shown on the right. The profile page on Facebook Mentions is clearly geared toward celebrities. You can't see photos or friends or any boring things like that. Instead you get to see the people who follow you, because that's all that is important.
Here's what celebrities see when they try to post something. There are two options here that normal people can't use: Live Video and Q&A.
Live video lets celebrities broadcast a video on Facebook and interact with fans. It's basically the same as Periscope, but only famous people can use this version.
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