Facebook launches Share and Save extensions for Chrome, redesigns Social Plugin buttons


Facebook is all about sharing and consuming, and today the social network launches two new extensions for the Chrome browser that make it easy to do both. The Share to Facebook and Save to Facebook extensions do very much what you would expect, encouraging not only sharing, but also the use of Facebook as a bookmarking tool for articles you want to read later.

As well as these two extensions, Facebook is also rolling out redesigned Social Plugin buttons. The Like button that you see adorning so many websites is getting a modern makeover, losing the iconic Facebook 'f' logo, and gaining an emoji-lover-friendly thumbs up icon instead.

The redesign came about after Facebook tested a theory that users would better understand the thumbs up icon rather than the 'f'. The theory proved correct, and the new button -- apparently -- increase engagement. The new look is cleaner and neater than before, and Facebook has released them in a number of different sizes, acknowledging the fact that nearly a third of 'likes' come from mobile devices these days.

The new buttons are not only backwards compatible, but also compatible with the increasingly common Instant Article:

In the coming weeks, Instant Articles publishers will be able to add Like, Comment, and Share buttons to the bottom of their Instant Articles, and interactions with these buttons will be included in aggregate Like and Share counts. If you have the Comments Plugin installed on your site, comments on a web article will sync the conversation with its Instant Article equivalent. If you have Comment Mirroring turned on for the Comments Plugin, comments from the article's post in News Feed will be synced with the web article and the Instant Article, creating a unified thread across all three surfaces.

But for most people, it is the browser plugins that will be of greater interest. Share to Facebook makes it quicker to share content you find online without the need to copy and paste addresses, while Save to Facebook brings read-it-later-on-Facebook capabilities to your browser.

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