It’s been a long time coming – Facebook launching its own version of Twitter’s retweet feature. Facebook has rolled out a “via” feature that allows you to repost another friend or user’s shared items, with a “via” link attached for attribution.
With most new features, Facebook institutes a progressive rollout, however, it appears the ‘via’ feature is live for everyone. To try it out, head over to a friend’s posted item in your news feed and click on the “share” link. You’ll now see a “via [your friend’s name]” and also an option to remove [your friends name]. Once the item is shared, it will appear on your profile with a via link that also points to your friend’s profile. Your friends will also see the item in their News Feeds which now creates the viral loop that folks on Twitter benefit from with the retweet.
As of right now, the feature only works for posted links. It is not yet possible to “via” status updates or photos. Nonetheless, this is yet another big move by Facebook to bring its social network more inline with one of its biggest competitors – Twitter.
With the biggest buzz word in the industry being “real time search” this is clearly another effort to improve Facebook’s search tool and to become more relevant in the world of real-time news, search, and information. It will be interesting to see how quickly users respond to this new feature and start sharing “via” links in their own feeds.
What are your thoughts? Will you use this new feature? Why or why not?