In yet another tweak to the website that brings it even closer to the microblogging platform Twitter, Facebook has introduced a new “@”-based tagging system for better status updates.
The newly added feature would enable users to link to the profiles of their friends as well as other pages on the social networking sites. It would also let the users know when they’ve been tagged.
"Today, we are adding a new way to tag people and other things you're connected to on Facebook – in status updates and other posts from the Publisher. It's another way to let people know who and what you're talking about", software engineer Tom Occhino wrote on the Facebook blog.
He further confirmed that as soon as the users would type the name of what they’d like to reference by using @ symbol beforehand, a drop menu would appear that allow them to choose from a list of friends and several other connections, such as groups, fans, applications, events, etc.
The feature will soon be available to various third-party services that allow users to update their Facebook status, including status message aggregators, like Seesmic Desktop and TweetDeck.
The move from Facebook to incorporate Twitter-like tagging system clearly indicates the kind of overwhelming influence the microblogging service has in social networking domains, and the effort social networking major Facebook has been pouring in to catalyse real-time conversation.
Facebook tried to buy Twitter but failed to do so. They know that Twitter could possibly grow up to become a massive competitor in the long run. By gradually implementing features that were once exclusive to Twitter, Facebook wants to create an environment similar to the microblogging website. Will it be successful in smothering Twitter?