Facebook is testing a share button on its mobile touch site, m.facebook.com, we’ve found. Along with this are more prominent Like and comment buttons.[Update 11/14/12 12:47 PM PT – A Facebook spokesperson confirms to us that they have begun a slow rollout out the share feature.]
The share button is 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. Now it appears to be in testing on the mobile web, which means it could come to the native iOS and Android apps soon. [Updated 11/15/12 – This happened today.]
Page owners are likely to see an increase in shares once the feature rolls out to all mobile users. This will help their posts get additional reach. The share button is also an additional way that users can engage with a Promoted Post or Page Post Ad in the mobile feed. The share option appears as a large button in News Feed and as a smaller call to action when users click to view a post, as seen below. From what we’ve seen, the share button does not appear on every post but it’s unclear whether or not this is a bug. There does not seem to be any pattern to whether a share button appears on post. The type of post or privacy settings may have something to do with it.
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.
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.