Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/15/superstar_clusterzuck_as_facebook_tests_celebonly_app/

Superstar cluster-Zuck as Facebook tries out celeb-only edition

Online velvet rope to be erected between shlebs and us* plebs – report

By Jasper Hamill

Posted in Applications, 15th August 2013 08:03 GMT

Facebook is building an anti-social network which will ban ordinary people and only allow celebrities beyond its virtual velvet rope.

Zuck's advertising empire is reportedly working on a "VIP app" that non-famous people - whom Elizabeth Hurley once famously described as "civilians" - will not be allowed to use.

Sources told All Things D the celeb-only app hopes to tempt famous people away from Twitter and post all their inane witterings on Facebook, where they can use the new app to monitor what people are saying about them.

Of course, what they might not be able to do is post raunchy selfies, a la Rihanna, because Zuck's censorship team are not particularly keen on nakedness. Twitter, by contrast, doesn't care – as long as you're not using "pornographic" images in your profile picture.

“We are currently testing some mobile features designed to help public figures interact with their fans,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “We are testing these features with a small group of partners and will share more details should we roll it out more widely.”

Facebook has been interested in courting celebrities for some time, with talent team head Nick Grudin saying he was interested in establishing “best practices” in allowing stars to speak to their fans.

What he really means is that Facebook wants to win celebs back from Twitter, which is the stars' current medium of choice to communicate with their adoring public.

Much of the tabloid press now takes its stories directly from celeb's feeds. For instance, Twitter was the place where TV presenter and model Melanie Sykes chose to send some very flirty (and dirty) messages to her new boyfriend, who goes by the name of (wait for it) Jack Cockings.

The legendary London rapper Wiley, known as the Godfather of Grime after inventing a genre of avant-garde electronic hip-hop, is one of Britain's most famous celebrity Twitterers. He famously took to Twitter to slag off the "pagans", "inbreds" and "cretins" of Cumbria after they booed him off stage. Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, also refused to play at Glastonbury and sent a tweet which said: "Fuck them and their farm."

It's not clear what Zuck's zealots would make of this kind of fan interaction. The new celeb-only app is the very early stages of development and when it's finished, neither you nor I will be able to use it. ®

Bootnote

Vulture Central's backroom gremlins are reminded of the invitation-only private social network A Small World, which caused some embarrassment to UK MP Chuka Umunna when crafty reporters managed to gain access to the site, where Umunna had registered as “Harrison Umunna”, and lifted all manner of entertaining updates from his profile, including a post calling for advice on avoiding the “trash and C-list wannabes” of London's West End nightspots.

* Yes, we know the correct pronoun is "we". But we think you'll find that "we plebs" rather affects the tone, *cough* is it not so innit?