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This article was published on July 31, 2013

Facebook breaks public content out of its box with Embedded Posts for the Web

Facebook breaks public content out of its box with Embedded Posts for the Web

Facebook is releasing a new feature that will eventually give all publishers and users the ability to embed any public post from the social network onto their website or blog with just a tap of the button.

This is one of the company’s attempts to further connect the rest of the Web with the social network and it’s only beginning — CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People Magazine, and Mashable will be the first to have access to it, but Facebook says “broader availability” will be soon.

Perhaps one of Facebook’s most prominent efforts to  help make the millions of websites on the Internet more social is through its platform. We know that over 550 million people are having social experiences each month and that more than 1 billion stories are shared daily, and this is 6 years after the company unveiled its Platform service. Now, Embedded Posts are just another easy and straightforward way for everyone to bring in Facebook content into their site without needing to be a full-fledged developer.

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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.

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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.

With an embedded post, people can view not only the content, but like or share it directly from the site (no longer needing to first go to Facebook to do the sharing). In addition, the author can be “Liked” and the post’s comments, photos, and hashtag can be viewed just with a click of a mouse.

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There are already widgets that users can embed onto their websites that tie back to their Facebook presence, including “Liking” an article/story, being a fan of their Page, and more. But Embedded Posts adds a bit more context to helping site visitors understand who the author is and why they should be more connected with them on the social network.

This new feature could affect third-party services like Storify, which helps to curate social conversations. With Embeddable Posts, journalists could simply take public posts and insert them directly into their stories, thereby showing conversations happening within them. But it might not be a big of a factor, especially when you consider that Storify looks at interactions happening in social networks beyond Facebook, thereby giving people greater access to a well-rounded discussion.

As you can imagine, Facebook is rolling this out for the Web, and hopefully it won’t take as long for people to have access to compared to Graph Search. But a public rollout for the service to its 1.15 billion monthly users can’t be easy or quick — they’ll need to properly test to make sure its infrastructure can support all the activity.

It would be interesting to see Embedded Posts become integrated with Facebook’s mobile apps. Imagine being able to tap on a public post and select “embed” and push it to Tumblr or WordPress via their own mobile app.

Photo credit: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images