Welcome to the first ever…
Weal or No Weal!
In our Weal or No Weal segments, we will be taking a look at a single news story in business and social media, and giving you our verdict. What is Weal? Webster’s dictionary defines weal as a red, swollen mark left on flesh by a blow or pressure. Wait. That doesn’t sound right. I’m being told as I (apparently live) blog this, that Weal has more than one meaning! Sigh. Don’t blame me, I’m new here… now back to the introduction! Weal, the word that is the namesake of our company, Weal Media, means “that which is best for someone or something.” So, as I wrote above, I will be laying judgement upon the businesses, professionals and organizations wheeling, dealing, and (sometimes) innovating in the world of business and social media. Hopefully my judgement of weal doesn’t leave a weal.
Victim Focus: Facebook Releases “Saved” Feature
Up until now, to save a post for later reading on Facebook, you had to use third-party services, like Pocket or Instapaper, which allow a reader to save the content they want to read later. And even then, relatively few people know of these tools, when compared to the 1.3 billion Facebook user base.
Well, Facebook users rejoice, Facebook releases the long-tested Save feature, thanks to their 2012 acquisition of startup Spool! It is rather simple to use. Whenever you come across a link in the feed that you want to read later, or you come across a Facebook Page for a place, event, movie, TV show, or music artist, just click on the “Save” button on the bottom right corner of the post, or using the drop down arrow on the upper right corner of the post (or with the “…” dropdown selection found on a Facebook page).
Yup, that’s it. Now the hard part: Viewing your saved items.
In order to view or share something that you previously saved, you have to click “Saved” in the lefthand column on Facebook. Okay, maybe that wasn’t very hard. We just don’t know how well versed you are with clicking on things.
The posts you saved are further organized by category (such as links, places, music, TV shows, etc) or you can simply select “All” to see all of your posts. Read the content, and click share if you’d like to pass it along! Afterwards, you can archive items by hovering over the link in your Saved items list, and clicking the “x” that appears in the upper right. To completely delete it, you must first archive it, then select the “Archives” link, then the “…” next to the item you wish to remove, and finally, click “Delete.”
As far as we know, any items we save are private unless you decide to publicly share them. However, with Facebook’s history in the matter of privacy, this may be something potentially visible by friends and family or followers in the future. Just keep an eye on it.
1. I could see this as a good way to flag a link in the stream for potential sharing or personal consumption. Something that stands out, but needing time to review before sharing it out myself.
2. Could be used to keep an eye on page you may not want publicly displayed. Don’t want your motorcycle club-dominated friends list to know you religiously watch Downton Abbey? Not a problem, use the “Save” feature to view without sharing publicly (… at least for now).
1. Annoying to have to archive then delete a list item. Would be nice to have the option to simply archive or delete, or sort into folders.
2. Saving does not yet work for everything shared to your stream, as it works only with link posts. So you won’t be able to save your friend’s 1500 word diatribes about the oncoming New World Order, or your niece’s Quinceanera photos that were attached to a post with a link to the gallery in the description. Not gonna happen.
3. Unlike some of the popular bookmarking services like Instapaper, Pocket, or Evernote, Facebook offers no differentiation between content that you have clicked on and viewed, and content you have yet to click on and view, which will certainly make it less efficient than other options, but still better than nothing at all.
The cons list was really adding up, and as a power user myself, this really won’t serve as much of a benefit. If I see something in the stream I want to read, I’d rather click on the link, bookmark and save it myself using my own services which seem much more complete. As far as being able to “Save” pages… it’s not much faster than just searching for the page using the search bar at the top. In the end, we certainly expected more after supposedly testing this feature for over two years. To be fair though, I suppose I already get the best linked content from my stream and communities in Google+. The Facebook stream tends to be quite personal, the way I have mine set up, so this may not be very useful to me.
As with any new social media addition, tool or innovation, it does depend on your own personal use. You may find this incredibly useful yourself. For us? We need to see a few more updates and features to justify having waited so long. Just doesn’t live up to expectations. Frankly, I think Facebook would have been better off devoting time and money to things that matter… like improving EdgeRank, perhaps. Or, I don’t know, maybe a search bar that actually allows us to search properly within the network. Don’t even get me started on the lack of a proper search function.
Feel free to voice your comments out on your own social media channels and start a discussion with your own followers and friends, or leave us your questions and comments below! Have a suggestion for an upcoming Weal or No Weal? Let us know what you’d like us to judge, we’d be happy to do it!