Bringing Mention Tagging to Open Graph
by Cindy Li - August 21, 2012 at 12:00pm

As developers continue to innovate with Open Graph, we’re building products to support new use cases. Today, we’re making it possible for people to mention friends in user messages in Open Graph apps.

With this frequently requested feature, companies like foursquare can implement user mentions that work like they do in posts on Facebook. When people mention a friend in an Open Graph app, the story on Facebook links the person’s name to their timeline, and their friend will receive a notification. The story will also be added to the friend’s timeline or, if enabled, to timeline review. There are no privacy changes associated with this new feature.

Mention Tagging vs. Action Tagging Mention tagging is designed for user messages, which makes it different from the existing action tagging feature:

  • Mention tagging can be used whenever a user wants to reference their friend in the message text they enter. For example, mention tagging can be used if someone wants to describe the people in a photo or bring a friend’s attention to something they might enjoy.
  • Action tagging is strictly intended for when people are performing an action together. For example, action tagging should be used when people take a run together or visit a restaurant together.
Stories with mention and action tags appear differently on Facebook. Mention tagging creates a link in the user message, whereas action-tagging adds friends’ names to the story text.

Implementing Mention TaggingThis new feature is ideal for situations when people are doing activities where they want to reference friends. For example, people want to mention friends when they share a special song; call a particular friend’s attention to a great movie or restaurant; or describe a photo that includes a friend.

If you choose to implement mention tagging, you’ll need to provide users with a tokenizer or some other way to know that they can reference their friends. See design guidelines and learn how to implement this new feature in our mention tagging documentation.

Developers may not prefill mentions in user messages. Any message that contains a mention needs to be composed by the user and explicitly meant to be shared on Facebook.

For mention tagging to work in your app, you will need to resubmit your actions and request approval for both "user messages" and "tags." To expedite your request, please specify how you plan to implement the feature and provide detailed reproduction steps.

We're happy to bring support for mention tagging to Open Graph and can't wait to see all the new use cases this enables.