Inside Facebook, "People use status updates to tell stories about real world experiences. This is about making the site more engaging."Facebook just launched status tagging for friends, pages, events and groups. The company has torn a page out of the Twitter playbook and plans to increase search functionality via the @ tag. Over the next few weeks Facebook users will be able to tag their friends, pages and groups in status messages. Similar to photo tagging, all those indicated in the tag will receive a notification. Said Facebook product manager Andrew Huang to
Marketers have worked hard to get the attention of celebrity users via the obligatory @ tag, and it'll be interesting to see if Facebook will be used for similar pitches. While photo uploading and image tagging creates a barrage of instant notifications, @ tagging is a far less cumbersome process for the tagger and therefore a far more time consuming process for the tagged. High profile influencers may get pinged on everything from company demos to job opportunities. Someone like Robert Scoble might be up all night untagging himself. And if he doesn't untag himself, marketers will have the convenience of an auto-complete drop-down menu to contact him until he takes notice.
Nevertheless, there are also a number of benefits for event planners and group leaders. In the past the hashtag has been used to track event conversation and even field questions from an audience. Now instead of displaying a scrolling Twitter feed on a trade show screen, a group can simply pull up their Facebook page and all of the in-Facebook @ tags as well as media uploads will automatically populate the page wall. This is a great way to gather up scattered conversation and keep the momentum going for inspiring events. Look for the new feature to roll out incrementally in the next couple of weeks.