It was announced today that Facebook is starting to roll out functionality for publishers to embed public posts onto websites (similar to how tweets can currently be embedded). It is not yet available to all Facebook users, but the company says there will be ‘broader availability’. CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People Magazine, and Mashable are the first media outlets to get access.
Embedded Posts will only work with public messages, no matter if it’s a status update, Instagram photo, video, etc. To see if it can be embedded, hover over the audience selector (it’s a globe icon). If it is marked as public, click on the “Embed Post” option in the dropdown menu. It will display HTML code that you can copy and insert onto your website — similar to what you would find with Instagram.
Once inserted onto a site, visitors can interact with it similar to how they would in their Facebook timeline. This surely will help aid in the discovery of new content, especially if your site is a heavily trafficked one. These posts will show not only text, but pictures, videos, hashtags, and any other content supported by the platform — it’s almost like having an iFrame of Facebook occupying a piece of real estate.
This feels like a big shift in strategy for Facebook. You will now have the capability to easily take content from the social network and place it outside their walled garden. This signals a move away from everything happening on the Facebook platform towards a realisation that there could be advantages to their content being spread more widely across the web. Of course, publishers have been screen-grabbing this content for a long time, but now Facebook is playing catch-up and as a bonus has the potential to benefit from increased engagement. It seems to fit in with a long-term trend of Facebook courting big media.