According to the report published by Techcrunch Facebook had first tested the 'Save' button in July 2012 and then again in November 2013 but had not rolled out the feature. This was after it had acquired 'Spool' , in 2012, an app that could store articles, videos, and other content on a user's smartphone for viewing later. It is now being reported that founder of the start-up Studio Publishing, which generates Facebook-based content, Dan Birdwhistell has seen the Save button in the Web interface, and then furnished Techcrunch with screenshots. Facebook responded to Techcrunch's queries to say, "We're constantly testing new features, but we have nothing further to share at this time."
Facebook's Save feature, as observed, has a simple working method. Below the preview of the external link, on the right of the Like, Comment and Share options, is the Save icon. Once an article is saved it will go the Saved section of the user's Facebook Timeline. Accessing the section will display sections like 'All', 'Links', 'Places', 'Music', 'Books' amongst others. A user can then choose the content to be viewed under the respective headline.
Facebook may be perhaps moving towards becoming the new newspaper for the masses, collating and offering information to its users depending on their viewing preferences and interest, apart from of course facilitating the social sharing of news and other content. A feature like this could encourage publishers to focus on creating content that will be read by more readers. Perhaps it would, as reports suggest, also put it in direct competition with the likes of Twitter, which allows users to send articles to third-party read-it later services like Pocket, Safari Reading List amongst others.
Given that Facebook has twice earlier tested the Save feature and not yet rolled it into active duty casts a shadow of a doubt in the minds of users about it seeing the light of the day. Maybe the 'Save' feature will get lucky the third time, or it might not. It would be interesting to see how things shape up in the near future.
Image courtesy: Techcrunch