Facebook Will Roll Out New Feature to Warn Users Before They Share Old News Articles
Have you ever been alarmed by a headline you see on an article in your News Feed so much that you decide to share it? Proceed with caution. First, it’s always a good idea to read something before sharing it. Second, make sure you look at the date.
Have you ever read an article shared on Facebook or even shared an article yourself and then realized after the fact that the article was months or even years old? Perhaps some of your friends pointed out your oversight in the comments, or perhaps they didn’t look closely enough and went on to share the article too, continuing the cycle of circulating old information.
If you’re nodding your head right now remembering how you accidentally shared something completely outdated as if it had just happened, because you thought it had, you’re not alone. Many people don’t look closely enough at the dates when they share news articles on Facebook, and the social media giant is doing something to help. In an effort to help Facebook users share information that is relevant as opposed to outdated, they are launching a new feature.
The new feature is a notification screen that pops up before you share a news article that is over 90 days old. The screen alerts the Facebook user to how old the article is and provides two options. They can either continue sharing the article or go back and decide not to share the potentially outdated information.
In a blog post, Facebook VP Feed and Stories, John Hegeman, wrote, “Over the past several months, our internal research found that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people decide what to read, trust and share.” He went on to share that Facebook users want to read information that is current, and news publishers want to make sure we’re not mistaking old information for new information.
The goal is for this new Facebook feature to make it easier than ever to know if that article you’re about to share is still worth sharing.
What do you think of this new Facebook feature? Do you think there are times when articles that are over three months old are still worth sharing?