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Facebook is testing a new feature that tricks you into sharing links
If Facebook rolls this out to all its users, a lot of people will accidentally post a lot of things.
In the most annoying little Facebook tweak in recent memory, the social network appears to be pushing the power of the share harder than ever.
About a week ago, I went to comment on a friend’s link that appeared in my News Feed. I typed out my comment and pressed enter, but I then realized that I wasn’t commenting; I was sharing. The link had automatically been shared from my own account. Sneaky, Facebook.
Facebook/The Daily Dot
I hadn’t intended to share the post at all, so I had to visit my own profile page and manually delete it. It happened two more times before I realized what triggered this particular behavior.
As you can see in the GIF below, the comment field below a link in the News Feed automatically changes to a share field. This now happens whenever I click a link in my News Feed and then return to Facebook.
Facebook/The Daily Dot
If you’re in the habit of leaving comments and hitting Enter, this means insta-sharing stuff you probably didn’t mean to share. Obviously Facebook is trying to drum up even more interactivity—if you’re commenting, why not share and comment?—but the feature is as misleading as it is smoothly implemented.
It’s funny that this test feature—which doesn’t appear to have rolled out too far yet—makes it so easy to share, whereas any Facebook tool that lets you disengage or unfollow generally requires at least two clicks.
Facebook is known for live-testing subtle feature changes with smallish sets of users. I’ve reached out to Facebook to ask if the company will be pushing sharing over commenting for all users. I will update if and when I hear back.
Photo via mwichary/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Taylor Hatmaker has reported on the tech industry for nearly a decade, covering privacy and government. Most recently, she was the Debug editor of the Daily Dot. Prior to that, she was a staff writer and deputy editor at ReadWrite, a tech and business reporter for Yahoo News, and the senior editor of Tecca. Her editorial interests include censorship, digital activism, LGBTQ issues, and futurist consumer tech.