Facebook's Newest Answer to Twitter: Celebrities

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Despite its massive, world-dominating success, Facebook still lags behind certain other social networks in some areas — most notably, its fawning treatment of famous people. Mike Issac at AllThingsD says the company has a plan to change that, in part by developing a new "VIP-only" app to help the already-popular share and engage with fans on Facebook.

According Issac, the app is still in the early stages of development but is already being tested by "a small group of famous people." The goal is to give them a tool that lets them share content, then monitor response and respond directly to fans. That level of personal engagement has been one of the key to Twitter's smashing success. Almost anyone who is anyone — from Beyoncé to the President (of Ivory Coast) — has at the very least, a personal lackey sending out tweets on their behalf.

Some might say this is Facebook desperately playing catchup to the faster and cooler Twitter. In the last year, they've lifted hashtags, trending stories, and embeddable posts from Twitter, which has had those features for much longer and with more success. Even their popular Instagram videos, only came after Twitter's Vine. Twitter has long had employees who reached out to celebrity partners, but has never gone as far as to rope a VIP section for only its best "clients." Could their bid for "coolness" turn people off as elitism instead?

Will it even matter? After all, according to this one teenager, Facebook could not be less cool that it is right now, but though as Slate points out, it may be suffering more from a Yogi Berra problem. ("No one uses Facebook anymore. It's too popular.") The kids can smell when you're trying too hard, Facebook. Sometimes the best way to be popular, is not care if you're popular.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.