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Facebook will let users save external web pages to read later

Facebook’s save button is one of the more useful features on the social network, allowing users to effectively bookmark an article for later reading. In fact, the social network revealed that over 250-million people have used the feature since its inception back in 2014.

The function has its limits though, as you can only save articles that were shared on Facebook.

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So if you were browsing the web and came across a great article, you’d need to either bookmark it or use a third-party service like Pocket to save it for later.

Save articles on other websites

Now, the social network has announced save button support for external websites at its F8 conference, so users can merely hit the button on the article page itself to save the story to their Facebook account.

The move will no doubt be seen as a way for Facebook to muscle in on services like Apple’s reading list, as well as third-party apps Pocket and Instapaper.

Pocket in particular has gone from strength to strength since its 2007 release, passing the 20-million user mark and seeing over two billion article and video saves.

Facebook’s solution could also be a more attractive proposition for publishers for the sole reason that, unlike Pocket, saved articles link directly to the publisher’s website. This is contrary to Pocket’s approach, which generally copies the article text and ditches any advertising.

Quote-sharing comes to the network

Facebook has also noticed the widespread use of pictures to convey quotes and now offers users a similar feature.

“You can build an experience that lets people share specific quotes from an article, book, etc. or that lets people highlight and share any text that resonates with them. Quote sharing is supported in the share dialogue on iOS, Android, and mobile/desktop web,” the company said in a post on its developer blog.

Much like the save button, Facebook isn’t limiting the new feature to its own services, as quote-sharing is also possible on third-party websites.

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