Facebook Save lets users store news feed content and pages to read later

22 Jul 2014

Facebook’s latest feature will be handy for users not already part of the read-it-later revolution by allowing them to stockpile links and other content shared on the social network.

This feature, simply called Save, stems from Facebook’s 2012 acqui-hire of Spool, the start-up behind a read-it-later app which stored not just articles but also audio and video content for users.

The most popular apps of this variety would be Instapaper and Pocket, the latter of which lays claim to 12m registered users.

Facebook, the social behemoth that it is, has more than 1bn users, and sometimes they don’t have the time to check out the content that pops up in the news feed. With the Save feature for iOS, Android and web, these users now have the option to store links or Facebook pages and return to them at a more appropriate time.

Read-it-later services offer a quick and simple way to manage the constant flow of content we now get caught up in online and on-the-go. For Facebook, this also means keeping users in the news feed.

Facebook Save interface

Saved items will be stored under ‘Saved’ in the ‘More’ tab in mobile apps or the left-hand panel on the desktop site. The list is organised by category – be it an article, place, music or what have you – and mobile users can swipe to share or archive content. Unless users choose to share in this way, only they will see the items they save.

Facebook will also remind users of the saved content awaiting their perusal by placing links back in the news feed.

Facebook Save interface

As far as competing with Pocket or Instapaper, Facebook Save doesn’t cache saved content for offline viewing (something to keep its publishing partners happy) so, chances are, these apps can rest easy on that unique selling point. That said, Facebook’s user base at large will likely welcome this simple solution, which could introduce millions more to the read-it-later trend.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.