Facebook announced that it is expanding the article context features in News Feed that it began testing last October to all U.S. users, along with two new feature updates.
Users will see an “i” button atop the links for certain articles in their News Feeds, and tapping that button will launch a pop-up with additional context about those articles, including:
- Wikipedia entries for the publishers of those articles.
- Related Articles on the same topics.
- Information about how other Facebook users are sharing those articles.
- Informing users if any of the information above is unavailable, which may help to provide context, as well.
The two new features that were added with this week’s rollout are:
- More From This Publisher: Just as the name suggests, a snapshot of other recent stories posted by the publisher.
- Shared by Friends: Users will see if any of their friends have shared the article.
Software engineer Taylor Hughes, product designer Jeff Smith and user experience researcher Alex Leavitt announced the rollout in a Newsroom post, also revealing that Facebook is testing another way to enable users to evaluate the credibility of articles.
Users in the test group will be able to tap an author’s name in Instant Articles to access additional information including his or her Wikipedia entry, follow buttons for the author’s page or profile and other recent articles they have published.
Hughes, Smith and Leavitt said this will start “as a small test in the U.S.,” adding that the information will only be displayed if the publisher of the story has implemented author tags on its site and the author has validated his or her association with the publisher.
For anyone who might be curious as to what kind of work went into developing these features, Smith, Leavitt and user experience researcher Grace Jackson shared extensive details in a blog post.