Facebook is currently working on a feature that will be exclusively designed to help celebrities and public figures more carefully manage their online persona, and engage with their fan base.
The so-called “VIP app” will allow these exclusive figures to easily monitor what is being said about them on the social networking site, as well as engage in direct dialogue with fans and respond quickly to any feedback.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “We are currently testing some mobile features designed to help public figures interact with their fans. We are testing these features with a small group of partners and will share more details should we roll it out more widely.”
It is thought that Facebook is trying to win back some of the more high profile social media users from the likes of Twitter and Instagram, both of which are widely used by celebrities and public figures and allow for easy dialogue with fans.
Facebook does have some sway in the area of celebrity social media use; while his wife Victoria is a fan of Twitter, David Beckham is an avid poster to his Facebook page, while Hollywood actor Channing Tatum used his Facebook account to share with the world the first picture of his newborn daughter Everly.
However, the direct dialogue between celebrity and fan that is possible on Twitter, along with the simplicity of the 140-character posting limit, has it way ahead of the social media pack at the moment, while the visual simplicity of Instagram, and ability to cross-post to other social networks, also works in its favour.
There is no doubting that the capacity for extensive fan engagement is possible on Facebook; the site’s two most popular celebrities, Eminem and Rihanna, both have over 75 million likes. With such a large, as yet untapped fan base at its disposal, Facebook will be hoping that this VIP app will go some way to encouraging more high profile figures to use the site to reach out to fans.