Facebook fights for real-time relevance with embedded posts

The social network launches a new feature to remind the media that its 1.15 billion members can serve as sources for stories.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In an attempt to boost its connection to current events and breaking news, Facebook is making the social network's public content more accessible to news outlets with the Wednesday release of embedded posts.

The new feature is intended to let media organizations, and eventually everyone else, embed public Facebook updates such as photos, videos, hashtags, and other posts from people or Pages on their own Web sites. Viewers of the embedded content can "like" or share stories, as well as like the Page or follow the person who originally authored the content.

embedded post
An embedded post will let readers like or share the update, and like or follow the author of the content. Facebook

At launch, just a small group of media outlets including CNN, Huffington Post, and People magazine will be able to embed Facebook updates in their stories. A company spokesperson said the feature would roll out more broadly to users "soon."

"Today, we are beginning to roll out Embedded Posts to make it possible for people to bring the most compelling, timely public posts from Facebook to the rest of the Web," Facebook software engineer Dave Capra said in a statement. "Every day, public figures, journalists, and millions of regular people share their thoughts on what's happening around the world on Facebook publicly."

Facebook

Where available, an "Embed Post" option will show up in the drop-down menu for public updates and, on click, generate a snippet of code that can be pasted on Web sites and blogs.

The embedded post release comes on the heels of hashtags, which the social network added in June to create a link to current affairs, and supplements Instagram's new Web embed feature.

The embedded posts feature is ultimately meant to make Facebook a relevant part of pop culture and news stories, an area where Twitter has long reigned supreme.

Facebook has been on a campaign of late to get people to view its network not just as a place where friends connect, but as a destination where people go to discuss everything from current events to television shows, as they're unfolding. Last week, COO Sheryl Sandberg tried to drive the point home by telling investors and analysts that, on any given night, between 88 million and 100 million people in the U.S. are using Facebook during prime-time TV-viewing hours.

 

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