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Facebook, Twitter-style 'mentions' come to LinkedIn

It's about to get a lot more chatty over on LinkedIn.

The business-focused social network on Thursday began rolling out a new feature that lets you mention and hyperlink other LinkedIn users and companies in status updates and conversations. The feature is similar to what's already available on services like Facebook and Twitter, and is intended to make it easier to start conversations with your peers on LinkedIn.

"We're excited to introduce a new way for you to engage with your network through the ability to mention your connections and companies in conversations on LinkedIn," Angela Yoonjeong Yang, associate product manager at LinkedIn, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

The new LinkedIn feature is similar to how mentions work on Facebook. You begin typing the person or company's name into your status update box, or the comment field on the homepage. From there, a drop-down menu will appear and you can select someone from the list, then finish writing your status update or comment, and post it.

The feature only lets you mention first-degree connections, or other members who are part of a discussion thread on the LinkedIn homepage. The capability is rolling out to all English-speaking LinkedIn users beginning today, and will be expanding to all global members "soon," Yang said.

"We also know you're engaging in meaningful conversations across other areas of LinkedIn, so look for the ability to mention your colleagues beyond the homepage in the near future," she added.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn last month announced an overhaul of its search function, adding new, deeper capabilities. The site's search function now supports more than an individual person, company, or job queries; simply type a word or phrase into the search box and a comprehensive page of results will appear.