Facebook today announced updates to its iOS and Android applications that include the long-awaited share button and in-line tagging for all posts, status updates and comments.
We found Facebook testing the feature on the mobile touch site earlier this week, but Facebook did not say how soon it would bring it to the native apps. Now it seems the update is rolling out for both apps today, though the design is slightly different on the different platforms. Android uses a more prominent button design like we saw on the mobile web, while iOS simply adds “share” as a word next to Like and comment.
In-line tagging is something that has been available on the mobile site since this summer but hadn’t been brought to the native apps until now. When users begin to type a friend’s name in a post or comment, a menu will appear with options of people to tag. This allows users to mention their friends within a sentence as opposed to having their names appear at the end of a post.
The share button has been one of the most commonly requested features for Facebook’s mobile apps. When we asked about it in August, the company said there was no technical hurdle that made a share button difficult to implement on mobile. Facebook simply never made it a priority until now.
Previously, the only share option available on mobile was for links and the button only appeared when users viewed a site in the Facebook browser and clicked for more options in the top right corner. There was no way for users to quickly share a photo, status update or other posts.
Page owners might see an increase in shares and engagement over time now that their fans can interact the same way from mobile as they could on desktop. The share button is also an additional way that users can engage with a Promoted Post or Page Post Ad in the mobile feed.
So far the share button does not appear on every post, which may be related to the post’s privacy settings. However, some posts that include a share button on desktop do not have the option on mobile.
When users tap the share button, they are taken to a dialog that previews the item they’re about to share and allows them to add a comment or change their privacy settings for the post.