Updated, Tuesday, 10:45 a.m.
About a year ago, Facebook made a big change to its News Feed, the central stream users see when they open the service’s homepage or smartphone app. Into the algorithmic mix of statuses and pictures normally there, the social giant began to toss many, many more news stories from around the web.
The change turned users into readers—or, at least, skimmers—and provided a traffic boon to online publishers. Since then, Facebook has continued to hone that feature, reducing the prevalence (for example) of especially click-baity content that some users find annoying.
Now, the company has introduced an even more reader-friendly feature: It’s giving users a way to slow down the stream.
Facebook today introduced a new “Save” feature to its homepage and smartphone apps. When someone see a link to a news story in their feed that they want to read, but which they don’t have time for at the moment, they’ll be able to click “Save for Later” and add the story to a list to read later.
The feature mirrors popular apps like Instapaper and Pocket, though it doesn’t let users save stories for offline reading as those do. Unlike those apps, too, it has access to users’s Facebook News Feeds—which means it can re-advertise the stories in their feed later on as “Links You Saved.”
And “Save” makes sense. Facebook believes its future is app-ified: Unlike the singular, monolithic Facebook of yore, the company thinks users will soon interact with its core service through many smaller routes. They won’t use Facebook’s photo-sharing service; they’ll use Instagram. That philosophy underlies both Facebook’s ginormous purchase of messaging software WhatsApp and its development of struggling Snapchat competitor, Slingshot.