Facebook has confirmed that it’s rolling out a retweet-style “Share” button on Facebook’s mobile site. The much-requested feature has launched on the mobile site and will soon be coming to the iOS and Android apps.
Facebook has always focused on personal updates, but this mobile feature allows users to re-post a brand’s or friend’s photos, comments or links, making the experience more Twitteresque (think retweet).
The share button is located at the bottom of a post next to the “like” and “comment” tabs. Users can also add text before sharing a post.
Like the desktop version, users can decide whether to share the post with a specific “audience” or “friends list” group. When shared, the item will display “via [name of who originally posted it].” By giving credit to the creator you are in effect networking with them.
The company said there was no technical hurdle that made a share button difficult to implement on mobile. Facebook simply never made it a priority.
With the popularity of mobile devices surpassing that of desktops, the move is part of Facebook playing catch up on its mobile experience. This new feature comes on the heals of an August research report by PageLever that found that one in five new Facebook fans came from mobile devices. This was an increase of 280% in just four months.
The share option should dramatically increase the engagement rates for Facebook Pages by helping brands and businesses get their posts in front of even more people. Users can also share ads they have seen in their news feed that are Sponsored Stories of links.
One of the major concerns of this new feature is making sure that users’ newsfeeds don’t become too cluttered with irrelevant or repetitive posts. However, Josh Constine (@joshconstine), technology journalist for TechCrunch, makes a valid point:
…[Y]ou might start seeing [users and info] from outside your personal social graph, which could expand your perspective on the world. Like seeing retweets of people you’d never follow, Share could bring dissenting opinions about world news and social issues to your feed.
I don’t believe lawyers ought to divide their world into personal social networking (Facebook) and professional networking (LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter etc). Facebook provides an opportunity for you to get to know and nurture relationships with business associates and online influencers. Facebook’s ‘Share’ is going to lead to greater discovery and engagement.
‘Share’ is also going to increase the opportunity for law firms to have the items they post on their Facebook company/brand pages shared by others. That’s a plus for firm’s who have mastered the concept of posting items people like to view and share, as opposed to solely information about the firm or published by the firm’s lawyers.