Facebook Launches 'Mentions' App for Celebrities

Mark Zuckerberg

The app, from Facebook Creative Labs, is currently only available for people with verified pages in the United States.

Facebook continues to makes its social media platform more friendly to high-profile users with the Thursday launch of Facebook Mentions, an app designed to help influencers interact with their audiences. 

Created out of Facebook Creative Labs, the same app incubator behind news reader app Paper and messaging app Slingshot, Mentions is available to download for iOS only for people with verified Facebook pages in the United States. The company plans to launch in more countries in the coming months. 

"When we designed this app, we spoke to public figures about the features that they wanted and what would help them tell their story to their fans on Facebook," says Allison Swope, product manager for the app. 

Mentions shares many features with the standard Facebook app, including the news feed, but also incorporates features designed around "improving conversation discovery and interactions," Swope tells THR. They include a tab for trending topics that allows influencers to join in the conversation and a mentions tab where Facebook surfaces all posts that mention or tag the user's name.

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Mentions also comes with a tab just for live Q&As and a section where users can post updates and share photos and videos.

Facebook has been working with a number of high-profile users to test the new app before its Thursday launch. They include Austin Mahone, Ed Sheeran, Whoopi Goldberg and singer Mariah Carey, who commented: "[I've] always had a very special relationship with my fans, and Facebook has helped me maintain and build on that connection. Using Mentions has brought me even closer to my fans and people around the world." 

Added Cat Schwartz, founder of DGTL Advisors, a social media advisory firm that works with John Stamos and the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh: "Mentions is awesome because it's a simple, mobile experience and is designed specifically to make it even easier for public figures to post, interact with fans and start live chats on the fly."