Facebook are currently testing an app built for celebrities that is designed to help them manage their public persona.
Sources speaking to AllThingsD said that the VIP-only mobile app would help the famous reach out to fans, monitor their feedback, and respond quickly to “become part of the conversation”.
Facebook have since confirmed the app’s existence, saying: “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.”
The new app would help Facebook to compete with the likes of Instagram and Twitter; social networks which make it easy for interactions between fans and the public to be monitored and that attract a lot of attention and traffic from this.
Twitter is often used for celebrities to make quasi-public announcements, and the capacity for fans to reply directly to tweets using the @-sign makes it easy for VIPs (or their staff) to gauge reactions and feedback.
Despite Facebook encouraging brands and companies to use the site, the social network has not adapted well to covering current news stories. It’s recently ‘borrowed’ certain features from Twitter including hashtags and trending topics to try and ape the micro-blogging site’s success in the public arena.
Facebook have had some major coups in this area though, and AllThingsD point to the example set by Channing Tatum, an American actor who posted the first picture of his new born son to his Facebook account.
Tatum’s example shows how increasing the celebrity-friendy aspects of Facebook is beneficial for everyone except the paparazzi; allowing famous people to have greater control over their media coverage and let fans feel more ‘involved’, whilst also boosting traffic for Facebook itself.
Facebook's most liked celebrities
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the top-ten most liked celebrities on Facebook are almost exclusively musicians, with the exception of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
The highest-ranked actor is Will Smith (#12 with 49,316,545 fans) and the first non-musician/actor to make an appearance in the league-tables of global popularity is, of course, Barack Obama - sneaking in at #28 with 36,500,786 followers.
And, as Michael Jackson and Linkin Park both show, you don't have to be culturally current or even alive, to achieve acclaim on Facebook - a vocal fanbase is all it takes.
See below for the top ten, or visit fanpagelist.com for the full rankings.
#1 Eminem - 74,565,095
#2 Rihanna - 74,514,822
#3 Shakira - 68,363,237
#4 Michael Jackson - 62,533,881
#5 Cristiano Ronaldo - 59,682,299
#6 Lady Gaga - 58,723,598
#7 Justin Bieber - 56,155,492
#8 Katy Perry - 56,010,181
#9 Linkin Park - 55,869,431
#10 Beyonce - 49,777,553