Embedding rich content is already popular for use of content from popular sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. Embeds offer website owners a simple way to incorporate images and multimedia from these sites onto their own website. Facebook just announced that they’re adding the ability to embed public Facebook posts, which marks the shift towards Facebook being more open and public with content, than ever before.
Further Down the Facebook Rabbit Hole
Facebook also takes another step towards becoming ingrained in the foundation of the web in announcing this new functionality, allowing website owners and webmasters to place Facebook content to external sites. While the functionality is only available to a handful of select websites (such as CNN) embedding of status updates will roll out in time.
A Move Towards Open and Interconnected Content
This is yet another move in the direction of usage for Facebook. Whereas Facebook had typically been used for connecting with people users already know in the past, Facebook has pushed towards more outward and open sharing since they went public last year.
Other examples of Facebook’s move towards more open sharing and connecting with those outside of users’ existing networks include the ability to follow users, the upgraded Graph Search feature, and the ability that was added last year for users to post status updates as public. All of these open the doors of discovery on the largest social platform on the web. Where this has been lacking in Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have become useful to media outlets because of their public content, as well as users who want to connect with new people, not just existing contacts.
Facebook Trumping Twitter?
The embed function is significant because Facebook now looks to be a major source for news. This steps on the toes of Twitter, which had been the social vehicle of choice for gathering user generated news. Many major media outlets monitor and Twitter tweets for reporting purposes in real-time situation.
Facebook is now placed to be used in the same way, only with a significantly larger and much more active user base. By embed’s being used throughout the web from Facebook, this allows other Facebook tools to be used interact with those websites and the Facebook contest. Examples would include liking the content, sharing and commenting. And if used in this way, the Facebook experience simply rolls out to extend beyond user experience at Facebook.com.
The significance lies in the fact that Facebook users remain Facebook users, even if they choose to leave Facebook.com and navigate elsewhere, if they’re interacting with embedded content. Look for interactions with embeds to tie back to users’ Timeline and account, causing the ripple effect in viral spread for the sites using embedded content.