SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook will soon begin testing VIP-only features that make it easier for celebrities to keep close tabs on social media chatter and reach out to fans from mobile devices.
The features are designed to get Page Sixers to spend more time on Facebook. In other words, Facebook is looking to borrow some of that Justin Bieber magic from a popular online celebrity hangout: Twitter.
With 200 million active users, Twitter does not have the heft of Facebook. But it currently reigns as the digital king of public conversations, having made it simple and snappy for celebs to monitor what social media followers are saying about them and talk back to those followers at opportune moments.
Now Facebook is making major moves of its own. In recent months, it has rolled out hashtags, embedded posts and trending topics. And you can expect more major developments in the realm of public sharing.
The celebrity VIP app is a small piece of this broader strategy. Mike Isaac over at All Things D reports that Facebook will test the app with a small group of famous folks.
These are likely the very same folks who already use other celebrity apps such as WhoSay to manage chatter across social media including Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter.
"We are currently testing some mobile features designed to help public figures interact with their fans,” Facebook said in an emailed statement. “We are testing these features with a small group of partners and will share more details should we roll it out more widely."