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Facebook goes aTwitter…

September 14th, 2009

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?  Twitter – be flattered – Facebook loves your @ reply functionality.  Either that, or they are kicking themself for not thinking of it first.  This capability was announced last week and will begin rollout to users this week.  I experienced for the first time today…with a little green pop-up box asking if I wanted to tag anyone in my status update.  It’s essentially the same as ‘tagging’ someone in a photo, whereby it also gives the friend you included in your status the ability to ‘untag’ themselves (something you can not do with a Twitter @reply).  While this is a useful social feature for Facebook users to include friends in their status, let’s be clear that this data also helps Facebook continue it’s emphasis on ‘structured data’ and assists in profiling users for more targeted advertising by companies contracting with Facebook - as AllFacebook points out:

Information attributed to an individual user helps us paint a picture of that individual’s personality as well as their general habits. In addition to giving Facebook ad developers greater access to understanding a user, it also is extremely useful for producing more effective communication.

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