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Facebook to Introduce @Mentions in Status Updates

Facebook announced a new feature today that has everyone chattering about the ever-escalating Facebook vs. Twitter duel. Over the course of the next few weeks (a part of the announcement that was completely lost on most of the 1000+ commenters at the Facebook blog complaining that “it isn’t working!!!!!”), Facebook will enable status update tagging, which gives you the ability to identify and reference people in photos, videos and notes.

Twitter users have always been able to do this via the use of an “@ reply” (now called an “@ mention”). Sometimes, the use of @username is just a means to continue a conversation on Twitter – other times, it is used to start a new conversation or to just reference a friend, company or other Twitter user. Facebook is jumping on the bandwagon.

As soon as status tagging is activated, you can add a friend’s name to something you are posting by including the “@” symbol. As you type the name of who or 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. The “@” symbol will not be displayed in the published status update or post after you’ve added your tags. (see horribly fuzzy graphic below)

Facebook Status Tagging

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.

So, in the course of just a few weeks, Facebook has enable Pages to post from Facebook to Twitter from the Facebook UI and announced the implementation of status “tagging”.? What’s next in the war on Twitter is anyone’s guess….

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