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Last week, Facebook introduced Facebook Mentions, an app limited to people with verified pages in the U.S. that's designed to make it "easy for public figures to talk with their fans and each other on the go." In other words, Facebook appears to have a bit of Twitter envy -- given that Twitter is Celebrity Central in social media -- and thought that by kissing up to celebs with a special app, it could get them to give it more free content for us normals to engage with.
Yesterday, William Shatner took to his new "Shatner Speaks" Tumblr blog to critique the app, comparing it to the Facebook apps he already had on his phone. He may be new to Tumblr, but he's "old to social media," as he notes (he been on Twitter since June 2008 and as of this writing has 1.9 million followers). His Facebook Mentions post is an interesting read because, well, it's an app review by Captain Kirk, but also because it gives us a firsthand look at a user experience that most of us couldn't otherwise access.
"I'm not quite sure why Facebook released this app for 'celebrities'," the 83-year-old Shatner concludes. "It seems to be ill conceived. I will probably use it to post to my Facebook when I'm on my phone but it doesn't allow for mail or groups. I will continue to use my regular Facebook App as well as the Pages app."
Overall, he offers such a detailed and thoughtful critique of Facebook Mentions from a user perspective that Facebook should really think about employing him as a consultant or alpha tester.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.