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Facebook rolls out the share button to mobile users

Detailed by Techcrunch earlier today, Facebook has launched a share button on the mobile version of the social network and is planning to add sharing capabilities to both the iOS and Android applications at a later date. While the ability to share a particular article, video or picture is commonplace on the Web version of Facebook, mobile users can simply tap on the new share link in order to pass along an interesting piece of content to their friends. When a user brings up the mobile version of the social network, they will notice a new Share button to the right of the Like and Comment buttons. 

Tapping the new share button brings up an interface that allows the user to write a comment that goes along with the shared content. In addition, the user can isolate the post to a specific subset of their friends through groups or post it publicly in order to reach all subscribers.

Once the user is satisfied with the post, they confirm the sharing action by tapping the Share button in the top right corner of the screen. Alternatively, cancelling the post returns the user to the news feed. The new share button is only appearing within the News feed at this point. When visiting a personal page of a friend or a brand, the share button hasn’t been incorporated within the design yet.

The launch of the new sharing feature marks a trend in Facebook’s strategic approach to mobile. While the inclusion of the sharing button isn’t a technical achievement by any means, the priority of improving Facebook’s mobile interface is evident. According to Facebook’s third quarter results, the social network has approximately 600 million active mobile users each month. In addition, about 120 million of those active users check Facebook exclusively through a mobile device. The addition of the share button on the mobile version of the site could result in a spike in the amount of articles, videos and pictures that are shared each day. 

With the addition of the share button for mobile users, this brings Facebook more in line with social network competitor Twitter. On the web version of Twitter, users are encouraged to retweet posts and share them with friends. It will be interesting to see if mobile users on Facebook transition from the Like action to the Share action. Potentially,  it could significantly increase the amount of shared content people find in their News feeds each day and possibly drown out other status updates from friends and family.

However, it could be extremely helpful to brands and advertisers since the share action is more valuable when attempting to spread a particular piece of content. In a related story noted by The Next Web, Facebook is also rolling out a new feed that allows a user to view posts from brands and other pages into a completely separate feed. While posts from those pages will still appear within the News feed, users can visit this page in order to view recent updates only from liked pages.

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