Facebook allowing embedded posts—just like Twitter
On Wednesday, Facebook began rolling out embedded posts, a tool allowing users to add their public Facebook posts to other blogs and websites.
The move to embedded posts is clearly designed to shift toward the kind of public conversation that has made Twitter so popular, and to make Facebook more relevant and powerful.
In a developer blog post, the company said that with the plug-in, posts will "display just like they do on Facebook, with the ability to show pictures, videos, hashtags and other content.
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Users can interact with embedded posts by "liking or sharing the post directly from your Web page, liking the page or following other posts from the author … visiting the post's comments, photos, hashtags and other content on Facebook."
The social network is launching with Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and People, but soon public news feed and Timeline posts will include an "Embed" option to copy a post into any site. Facebook wants to tap into public conversation and keep it going, looping it back to Facebook.
But Twitter already offers the ability to embed tweets into websites, news articles and blogs. And unlike Facebook—which is oriented toward private conversations and emphasizes real-world connections—Twitter is designed to be about large-audience conversations with people you don't necessarily know—what CEO Dick Costolo called the "public town square."
That doesn't mean Facebook's embedded posts won't work, as they probably will be embraced as a way to generate more content for site publishers to sell ads against. And the more publishers tap into those embedded posts, the more people will participate in that public Facebook conversation and return to the social network.
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But one thing's for sure: This new option makes it even more important that Facebook users pay attention to those privacy controls.
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin