Social media just got more social as Facebook now allows users to embed posts from Facebook into their own websites. In July Facebook began a trial with a number of partner companies that allowed the user to embed a Facebook post into a website. This meant that content from Facebook could be shared in a new way. Now this feature is available to everybody. Below is a post using a graphic that I created for one of my clients, Yoga in Cheshire, as part of their social media strategy that I have been able to embed into this article.
Site owners now have the ability to take content from Facebook and use it within their own sites while at the same time giving credit to where the material has originated from. Previously a website owner would have to either link to a Facebook page to display the content that they wanted to share, which is not very elegant, or copy the content which at best is unethical and at worst illegal.
So how do you embed a post?
- First of all you click on the little grey down arrow to the top right of the post
- Choose “Embed Post”
- A new window will open with the code that you need to embed the post into your website already highlighted
- Copy this code
- Paste it into your webpage
You can only embed content that has been made public, so those with privacy concerns can sleep easily in the knowledge that those very amusing but humiliating pictures you posted of yourself and shared with just your friends are not going to appear embedded on a variety of websites in the coming days. Facebook have updated not just the desktop version of the website to accommodate the new feature but it is also available on both the iOS and Android apps. They have even updated their WordPress plugin to enable the easy embedding of content from Facebook. If you are a WordPress user and you do not have the Facebook Plugin installed then you can still embed posts but you will need to make sure that the main editing area is in text mode rather than visual mode otherwise the code is displayed rather than the post, as I have already learnt this morning!
This is an interesting move by the social media giant. Traditionally Facebook has been very hostile to anything that sends users outside of the Facebook environment. Facebook wants you to stay in Facebook so that they can keep showing you the ads that keep the social media giant in business. If you post a link to an external website then that is put into the newsfeeds of fewer users than if you just post a status update. However this, in reality, works the other way. Although the content is being posted outside of Facebook the hope of Facebook is that it will encourage people to enter Facebook. If you see an interesting piece of content on a website that has come from Facebook and you can also see who posted it and can access their other content then you might be tempted to see what else they share with their friends/followers. The embedded post includes a link to the page owner and also gives you the options to like, comment and share the content with more people creating the possibility of something going viral on Facebook without people necessarily being on Facebook to see it.
I think this is a feature that will mainly be used by those that report on Facebook and its users. Facebook is already for many people the blog of their life and for those users having the ability to share content on Facebook is enough. While there may not be many users that embed content elsewhere on the Web those that do, such as news organisations, are likely to spread the Facebook word far and wide.