Facebook, aping Twitter, rolls out update tagging feature

Remember when Facebook rolled out the stream? You know, that status update feature that everyone took to mean stodgy old Facebook was copying trendy Twitter in all its real-time splendor?

Well, in that context, today’s announcement makes a lot of sense.

Soon, Facebook users will be able to tag their friends in their status updates with the trusty “@” symbol, establishing the same sort of two-way conversation that helps cut through the noise on Twitter.

“People often update their status to reflect their thoughts and feelings, or to mention things they feel like sharing,” explains Facebook’s Tom Occhino on the company blog. “Sometimes that includes referencing friends, groups or even events they are attending — for instance, posting ‘Grabbing lunch with Meredith Chin’ or ‘I’m heading to Starbucks Coffee Company — anyone want some coffee?’

A momentary digression: Has anyone ever tweeted, er, Facebook status updated, his or her intention to grab coffee at “Starbucks Coffee Company”? Seems an awfully formal linguistic intrusion into the age of 140 characters or fewer.

It matters not.

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