I want to talk and compare an app that most of you don’t have access to: Facebook Mentions and compare it to the Pages App that anyone who has a Facebook page can download and use.
I found out about Facebook Mentions from a banner ad that was at the top of my Facebook account earlier this week and it was a customized with my icon on an iPhone.
So I downloaded it.
I already have the Facebook App, the Pages App and now the Mentions App is on my device. So I seem to be in the best position to compare them.
When you install the Mentions App you cannot proceed further until you follow another one of their other ‘celebrity’ accounts. The first person on the list I was given was George Takei (rolling my eyes.) I ended up choosing Robert Downey Jr. to follow and then I hid his posts (sorry Robert!) I think that is a big flaw in the set up. If this app is for celebrities then WHY force them to follow another celebrity in order to set up this app? I think that is a flaw; I’m already following those who I want to follow - why insist I follow that short list of others?
So getting on to the App itself:
Section 1: The Feed
So the first section in the menu of the Mentions App is the feeds. The Mentions app (top) shows just the feed items from my home page and there is a tab to show trending topics (as you see on your Facebook homepage) while the Pages app shows the feed from my page. It displays the header image as well as the number of people who have liked the page,
My Preference: BOTH (both are needed I feel in an App)
Section 2: Mentions vs Activity
The next section in the menus of each app are diametrically opposed. The mentions app has, well…mentions of you on Facebook. (Note: if you have this app please turn off notifications because if you post something your phone spends the next hour sending you notifications of every person who makes a comment.)
Pages has graphs and other really cool statistics on your posts. These really are an apples and oranges comparison.
My Preference: BOTH I think both are needed in an app
Section 3: Posting
The third section in both apps is postings. The Mentions App (top) looks like the Facebook App page. The Pages section is a bit sexier with icons (like Tumblr) both do the job but there are differences. With Mentions you can post location, photo, emotion, and start a Q&A (the double text bubble icon.)
Pages has the following icons: Text, Photo, Video and Event.
Now here’s a conundrum - both have things that you’d WANT to use - Q&As, Videos, Emotions Locations and Events along with Photos and words.
My Preference: Neither Clearly both fail on the number of options available to users.
Section 4: Notifications versus Insights
In the fourth section on the apps again we diverge but both offer interesting content. The Mentions app offers Notifications showing a form of insights with groupings of numbers of statistics in a chronological manner while the Pages app offers Insights and a more higher level of statistics for your page.
My Preference: Both
I believe that both the higher level and lower level statistics are valuable. Maybe adding a tab to show both would offer the best of both worlds.
Section 5: Feed from Page versus Photos, Events and Settings
The Fifth and final section of each app seems like they are afterthoughts - where can we put these items. The Mentions app shows the feed from the page.
The Pages app offers access to the Photos section, Events and the Settings (none of which are available on Mentions (I feel this is an oversight or perhaps an area to improve on a future release.)
My Preference: Neither
I’m not quite sure why Facebook released this app for “celebrities”. 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.