Facebook is reportedly testing a “save for later” feature that would allow members to save links shared inside the social network to view at a later time. If made permanent, it’d be a good way to get consumers to spend more time on the platform, thus indirectly benefiting advertisers.
AllThingsD reported that the functionality is quite similar to that of popular apps Pocket and Instapaper. When an individual sees a link shared by someone in News Feed, he or she can click a small bookmark icon to save it to a list of links available within the Facebook apps menu.
In theory, this tool would also allow members to bookmark updates from Facebook Pages, including photos, text updates, and even videos. Although people are able to Like your content, providing you with a success metric, that action does little to help members go back to that post (depending on their notification settings, that is).
Currently, Facebook lacks an efficient way to search for posts. Looking for updates from others is time-consuming, requiring the searcher to scroll through days, weeks, or maybe months of posts. Being able to save key updates or posts would be a very useful tool, and not just from a convenience standpoint. It would also give members another reason to come back, logging more on-site time.
The social network has made it clear that it wants to play a larger role in how people use the platform to discover and read articles from third-party publishers. Over the last year, News Feed has given more prominence and visibility to articles shared on Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg likened the social network to a “personalized newspaper” at an event earlier this year.
Facebook tests a lot of new features, some of which go on to become permanent additions, but many others do not. At this point, Facebook’s “save for later” feature is only visible to a small group of members with no word on whether it will gain a wider release. Facebook hasn’t commented on the test, but we’ll keep you updated when/if more details are released.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.