Thursday, August 1, 2013

Not just hashtags and embeds: What else Facebook stole from Twitter

Aug 1, 2013(7STARNEWS)Following Twitter, Facebook has just decided to roll out a new feature: Embeded posts. The feature will allow users to post Facebook posts on other Web pages. Read more about the feature here.

But, embedded posts is only the latest in the long list of Twitter features that Facebook has aped from the microblogging site. We're all for evolution and bettering user experience, but lately a lot of Facebook's new features have us going… 'wait where have we seen that one before?'

Here are some of the features that Twitter rolled out before Facebook even thought of it:

Hashtag: Just before the embed posts, Facebook had copied the hashtag feature from Twitter. While Twitter users have been using the # symbol as a prefix to a word or phrase to group related tweets for quite some time, Twitter began hyperlinking hashtags from July 2009. Facebook began rolling the feature only in June 2013.

However, the hashtags feature that Facebook had copied from Twitter has not seemed to work for the site. Recently, a study by a social media analytics firm, Simply Measured, said that using hashtags in Facebook posts may be a fun strategy for companies trying to grab the attention of consumers, but it doesn't appear to be working that way.

Verified account: That blue and white icon with a check mark is a much desired badge on Twitter, which shows your account is authentic. Twitter's verified account feature dates back to 2009. But, last month that Facebook announced its own blue check mark for "authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook." Unlike Twitter, Facebook will verify authentic identities on its own and users cannot request to have a profile or Page verified.

Follow: Earlier, you had to be friends with someone to get his updates on Facebook. That changed with the 'Subscribe' button, introduced in September 2011 (and renamed to 'Follow' in December 2012). You can now get updates without being friends. This feature is quite similar to Twitter's follow feature.

Mentions: While Twitter added support for @mentions (or @replies or tagging) in May 2008, Facebook's integration came more than a year later in September 2009.

Hover over username for info: Twitter had this feature, where hovering over a username would display an information box with the users' details (Twitter has now changed the action from rollover to click) and this, obviously, also found its way into the Facebook user experience.

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