Facebook now provides more distribution options when users click the “Share” button third-party sites as well as Facebook photos, Pages, and rich media news feed stories. In addition to being able to publish to one’s own wall and the news feed, or via a private message, content can now be posted to Facebook Groups or a specific friend’s wall.
The expanded distribution options show Facebook’s growing drive to get users to share more frequently by letting publish to those who’ll find a piece of content most relevant, rather than cluttering the feeds of all of one’s friends. It effectively ports the functionality of the new Send button to all existing Share buttons.
Previously, Share buttons Facebook defaulted to publishing to one’s own wall — which in turn triggers news feed stories for friends. They also offered the option to switch to sending a private Message by using a small link in the lower left hand corner of the publisher.
Now, the top of the Share publisher shows a prominent drop-down menu allowing users to choose from posting content “On your own Wall”, “On a friend’s Wall”, “In a group”, or “In a private message”. The last three options provide a typeahead for selecting which friends or Groups will receive the post. The Share links appear across the Facebook site on photos, photo albums, Pages, user profiles, Notes, Events, and news feed stories.
Facebook has been providing more selective sharing options over the past few months. It launched Groups in October to make it easy to share to a specific set of friends. It then launched the Send button at the end of April so users could share content from third-party sites to Groups, via Messages, or by email.
Web publishers, especially niche content producers, are realizing that users may be more likely to share if they don’t have to broadcast content to all their friends at once. Since the launch of the social plugin, 25,000 sites have integrated the Send button.
Now content that lives within Facebook, has already been shared there, or that display’s Facebook’s now deprecated “Share” button can transmitted directly to those who’ll find it most compelling. Since Groups and wall posts generate notifications, publishers should be excited about the potential for their content to be shared in ways that might receive highly qualified clicks, even if fewer impressions.
Strategies for how your website can use Facebook’s social plugins, including the new Send button, can be found in the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s comprehensive guide to marketing through Facebook.
[Thanks to Lionel Bonnaz for the tip]