My Facebook news feed is pretty good about keeping me up to date on news, important updates from friends, social media trends, and an occasional funny cat video. But there’s still one super simple feature that would instantly make Facebook much more accessible.
The other day I was sitting at the DMV waiting to get my drivers license renewed. As I sat there I opened up the Facebook app on my phone and began browsing through my news feed—the perfect remedy to complete boredom.
As I browsed through status updates, photos, videos, music, and articles, I realized that there were quite a few videos that friends had posted that I wanted to watch, but not wanting to disturb the others sitting around me, I scrolled past them. I found myself trying to think of a way to remember these posts and get back to them later.
Dink! The lightbulb turned on in my head. What if there was a “Read Later” feature in Facebook that allowed me to save posts for viewing later?
I mean, why not? There are apps like Instapaper and Pocket that are popular for allowing people to save websites or articles they find around the web. YouTube has a watch later feature for saving videos for a later date. On Twitter you can favorite a tweet and view it later. Even Safari’s Reading List works similarly. But what is there for saving a Facebook post?
I posted the idea to my Facebook wall last week and it got a lot of attention, so here’s my concept for a “Read Later” feature for Facebook. Note that I chose to make this an integrated feature within Facebook, not a third party app.
Here are some mock screenshots to illustrate how I envision this working. It’s really simple. Just click on the drop down arrow next to any post on Facebook and choose Read Later.
Of course, this would work on mobile too. Same procedure—tap the drop down arrow, then Read Later.
The articles would be stored in a new section in the left sidebar of the Facebook home page, called Read Later. Clicking on the new section would open up a list of all the posts that you have opted to read later. A simple click on the “X” next to any post after viewing its content would remove it from the list.
It’s that easy!
To me this is a pretty practical feature for Facebook to include in their app. Here are some scenarios where it would come in handy:
- Sitting in a DMV, library, meeting, or other quiet place where you don’t want to disturb others around you with a video or song.
- When you see something interesting that you’d like to read, but know that you don’t have time to read it right now.
- Photos that you see on your phone that you want to view later on a bigger screen.
- Any post that you’d like to remember or save for later for any reason at all.
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