Facebook brings mention tagging to Open Graph

22 Aug 2012

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Open Graph apps can now be enabled to allow users to mention friends within posts as opposed to tacking their name on to the end of an action. Foursquare has already implemented the new functionality, and many other apps are expected to follow.

Mention tagging in Open Graph apps will operate just as mentions in status updates do, with the mentioned friend’s name appearing as a hyperlink to their page. The post will appear both on the timeline of the user who made the mention and the friend who received it, and this friend will also be notified of the post.

App developers will likely jump at the increased exposure mention tagging could bring them, and Foursquare seems to be first out of the blocks. From now on, when a user starts typing a friend’s name on the check-in screen, they will see friends suggested as mentions across the bottom of the input field. Users can then simply tap the correct friend’s name and, if the post is pushed out to Facebook, their friend’s name will appear as a mention tag.

Foursquare with Facebook mention tagging

Facebook has laid down the law on how this new feature should be managed by developers. They will not be allowed to pre-fill a user’s post with mentions as these have to come explicitly from users themselves, and the user’s approval is also required for the feature to be enabled.

Facebook users were previously able to mention others via Open Graph apps using ‘action tagging’, which placed friend’s names after an activity to say who the user was with. With mention tagging, users can now refer to friends within the text of an Open Graph app post, allowing mentions to flow more naturally and for users to utilise them in a whole new way.

Action tagging vs mention tagging

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com