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Facebook Makes It Easier to Share Links Without Ever Leaving Facebook

You may just never leave the app again ...


Facebook added an app update on Thursday that allows people to post and share links to their friends without ever leaving the Facebook app.

Now when you’re writing a status update, you can search through Facebook to find links that you want to share. It means you don’t have to open a Web browser and copy and paste a link in on a mobile phone. Of course, the new update only works if someone has already shared to Facebook the link you have in mind, but there’s a good chance it’s on there.

Facebook is calling the new product “add a link” and while it may seem small, there are two important but subtle elements to the update. The first is that Facebook is finally starting to flex its muscle a bit when it comes to search. Facebook has a ton of information about its users and the things they share and talk about — a company blog post claims its archive includes more than a trillion posts. Helping people find all that info has never been one of Facebook’s strengths, and this is another step toward shoring up that ability.

Facebook has had a few search-related updates in the past year, including finally bringing Graph Search to mobile, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said on multiple occasions this year that search is an area Facebook is eager to improve.

The potentially more important element is that “add a link” helps keep people in the Facebook app. If you don’t need to go out and hunt down a link outside of Facebook, you may be more willing to stay and share. It’s one of the same reasons Facebook is now willing to host content from publishers like the New York Times and BuzzFeed. The longer you stay within the app and the more you share, the better it is for Facebook’s business.

The new feature is part of an app update and just for iOS users right now, according to a company blog post.

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