Houston: In a move that could benefit journalists, Facebook is now letting individuals use Mentions app which allows users to engage with their followers and share content.
Journalists can now share a lot more information on Facebook, as the Mentions app allows them to post to their public followers and not just to their friends.
Vadim Lavrusik, product manager for Facebook Mentions, told media that the change applies to "thousands" of Facebook users who have verified accounts, including journalists, who want to engage with their followers.
We wanted to make Facebook a better experience for journalists whether it is used for news gathering or better connecting with their readers or to drive distribution to their content, he said.
Journalists and bloggers, who aren't quite as high-profile as Serena Williams, now have the opportunity to further engage with followers on the social network.
Journalists, in particular, have another platform where they can report from the scene using Live, or host Q&As.
Previously, Facebook only allowed certain celebrities such as actors, musicians and athletes access to the app, which makes it easier for them not only to keep track of what fans are saying but also interact with them with features like live video.
Verified Facebook users interested in using Mentions must fill out an online form before they can download and use the app.
When Facebook first introduced the Mentions app in July 2014, the app was squarely aimed at celebrities.
For instance, if a Facebook user tags The Rock in a status update, he will be notified about it in the Mentions app, so he can potentially respond.
This August, Facebook updated the app with a new feature called Live, a live video feature that shows up in your News Feed if a celebrity you follow decides to stream.
For Facebook, it means the possibility of its users verified or not interacting with the social network even more than they already do.
It will also help these people to respond more quickly and easily via the dedicated app.
Facebook Mentions also shows a timeline of posts that reference the particular user.
Facebook calls it an authentic way to connect with fans and followers.
Besides access to the video on News Feed, people who have recently interacted with a celebrity's posts will receive a notification when the broadcast begins.