Facebook (FB) is on the verge of pushing out a new feature that will directly challenge Twitter (TWTR) in targeting celebrities who use social media to engage with fans.
While Twitter to date is the social media of choice for celebs who post the most updated news on themselves (and which the media often reports on), Facebook will soon launch a feature that allows celebrities to better connect in this way.
The rollout remains secret but sources say the challenge aims to push Facebook into Twitter’s home turf (via Bloomberg).
Letting actors, athletes and politicians communicate in 140 characters via public question-and-answer sessions has helped Twitter’s popularity by removing the barrier between celebrity and fan. The stakes escalate now that Twitter has to appease investors while also competing more deeply with Facebook, which is helping its billion-plus users interact with their heroes.
“This is an area of strategic importance to us,” said Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships and global operations at Menlo Park, California-based Facebook.
“We’ve been building our partnerships team in Los Angelesand globally to better work with celebrities and media partners and simultaneously investing in products that better surface the conversation.”
Twitter is still reveling in its successful market splash, which means FB is even more tightly reviewing TWTR’s success.
Together, the social media giants are worth an estimated $140 billion.
Both have the targets on the social-media advertising market, is expected to increase to $11 billion in the U.S. in the next three years, according to researcher BIA/Kelsey.