Facebook chases Twitter with new embed option

In an effort to spread its content more widely across the web and make status updates more conducive to breaking news, Facebook will start allowing publishers to embed publicly shared posts on their sites. The function, to be announced Wednesday, will launch with a few partner media sites, and work similarly to how you embed tweets across the web.

Embedding Facebook content around the web means people could begin encountering posts that originated on Facebook all over the place, and they’ll be able to like and re-share that content without ever heading to To start with, you’ll be able to see embedded posts from Facebook on Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and People, although that group will expand.

This is an obvious move to copy Twitter’s success in spreading its content across the web in its original form, and become a part of the news cycle when celebrities or public officials post status updates. One of the reasons that Twitter has become so connected with the news industry (and resulting advertising opportunities around big news events like the Super Bowl) is that tweets are public by nature and incredibly easy to share across the web. Once you embed a tweet on any website, readers can engage with the text or photos as they were originally created on Twitter, and it increases engagement that goes back to the site.

Whether this will work as well with Facebook posts remains unclear. Most posts on Facebook aren’t set to public, and it’s not currently the first site to check for breaking news. However, as Facebook moves to get more celebrities on the platform with its verified program and organize content around hashtags (both features that started on Twitter), this could start to shift.

Here’s what it looks like to embed a post from Facebook on a blog or news site:

Facebook embed

Facebook embed

Facebook embed

Instagram has also been making moves in challenging Twitter in the breaking news arena, adding the ability to embed posts and highlighting how journalists can use its photo and video tools.