Most of the time, Facebook updates are relatively useless. But, occasionally, someone posts something that’s actually worth a read or a look. Reportedly, there’s a new feature rolling out to Facebook mobile and desktop that will allow users to save a link to read later. Much like Instapaper, this new feature will make it easier to read something at a later time if you don’t have the time right now. Seemingly, this new feature is a great idea, and other social media networks should consider adopting the read later concept as well.
How Facebook’s Read Later Feature Will Work
Right now, the Facebook read later feature is in beta, so you won’t be able to test it out quite yet. But, here’s how it will work: clicking anywhere on a user’s update will present users with the option to “save for later.” Once an update has been saved, it is then sent to a “favorites” folder. Then, when a user has the time to go over those favorites, all of those saved updates will be accessible. The feature is quite simple, but it’s one way that Facebook is working on making its platform better.
As mentioned, this read later feature would be great if it were integrated into a site like Twitter too. Often, there are lots of Twitter stories that are worth reading at a later time, but these stories tend to go unread unless a link can be followed, bookmarked, and saved for later. Now that Facebook has unveiled the new read later feature, it will be interesting to see if Twitter and other networks pick up on the feature as well. Or, perhaps, other network will simply combine efforts with a site like Instapaper.
Is Facebook The Right Platform?
Rarely do people post things on Facebook that users would want to read later. Then again, a feature like this one just may prompt Facebook users to actually post useful content. Or, maybe this feature will just result in users storing away hundreds of different posts never to actually read any of them. After all, it is simple to just tap that read later button and never actually read anything.
Even though the read later button is a good idea, I’m not sure that Facebook is the right platform for such a concept. It seems like a read later feature would gain more attention if it were available on Twitter, but Facebook is the company that’s rolling out the feature first. If you’re wondering when you’ll be able to access this feature, you might be part of a select few who are currently testing the feature. Or, you may have to wait a few weeks or month until the feature rolls out to everyone. Facebook is updating its mobile apps across iOS and Android prior to its desktop site, so keep this in mind too.
Would you use a Facebook read later? Do people actually post things to your Facebook newsfeed that you’d want to read later? Let me know if you think that this is a good idea or just something that Facebook shouldn’t be wasting time on.