In an effort to become a bigger player in the breaking news space — currently dominated by Twitter — Facebook today announced that public photos, statuses, videos, and hashtags can now be embedded on the web.

The functionality, which launched with a few partner media sites, will work similarly to how you embed tweets. The only catch is that in order to embed a post, you’ll need to install a Facebook plug-in on your website. Because of this, it means that Facebook embedding isn’t as simple as Twitter, Vine, or even Instagram.

One of the benefits, however, is that when someone Likes or comments on an embedded post, those actions update in real-time on Facebook as well as the site he or she is on. Twitter, on the other hand, asks you to leave the embedded content and return to its website to reply or favorite.

Although embedding is slated for a full rollout, it’s currently available for preview on Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable, and People. Eventually the drop-down arrow on News Feed and Timeline posts will include an embed option, allowing you and your fans to copy the HTML into any site or blog.

Currently many celebrities, athletes, public figures, and even brands turn to Twitter to post updates and break news. Facebook hopes that the ability to go beyond 140 characters and its new functionality will encourage you to bring some of that information to the social network instead. The plugin requirement could stall adoption, however.

A site-wide rollout could remove the plugin stipulation; but, if you’re not yet ready to add that code to your website, you can still embed photos and videos using Instagram. The company added support for video embeds earlier this month. Whether it’ll be able to compete with Twitter’s real-time news is still yet to be determined.

[Via: The Verge, Image credit: Coletivo Mambembe]