Despite Facebook’s best efforts, some internet content continues to be created and consumed outside of the company’s walled garden. To address this misbehavior, the company today introduced new Chrome extensions for sharing and saving articles. “Sharing and saving great content are two things that people love to do when browsing the web,” the company said in a blog post. “Improving this experience for people drives greater engagement and distribution of content for sites and keeps visitors coming back for more.”
The Share to Facebook extension puts a Facebook icon in your browser next to the address bar. Click it when you want to share the page that is open in the browser, and the extension will open a new window pre-populated with the link. Add a message and congratulations — you have shared content to Facebook. (If you’re looking for an alternative to this method that does not involve installing a dedicated piece of software inside an app that is already murdering your laptop battery, consider selecting the URL, hitting CMD-C, and then pasting it into a new Facebook post directly.)
The Save to Facebook extension offers a way to take a perfectly good web page and save it so that is accessible only in a buried corner of the Facebook app. To use it, just click the bookmark icon in your browser. Then reading the story is as easy as unlocking your phone, opening the Facebook app, tapping “more,” scrolling down to “saved,” finding the article in question, and tapping it, which will then open the article in an in-app browser in Facebook. The company says 300 million people do this a month. There is no accounting for taste!
Save to Facebook performs a function similar to Instapaper and Pocket, apps that let you save articles and videos for enjoying later. The apps are orders of magnitude smaller than Facebook’s save feature, but are arguably more useful — they save article text so you can read content offline, for starters.