Every social network eventually becomes home to screenshots: important nuggets of textual wisdom that, for whatever reason, are more convenient to capture as an image than they are to transcribe and post elsewhere. The practice is particularly popular on Twitter, where BuzzFeed's Mat Honan christened them "screenshorts" — a way of highlighting text that gets around Twitter's 140-character limit. Facebook is much more generous on that front — you can post updates of more than 60,000 characters there — but the company still sees plenty of screenshots anyway. Today it's introducing quote sharing, a feature developers can use to enable native sharing of quotes from their apps onto Facebook itself.
Facebook is launching quote sharing with Amazon, which built quote sharing into its Kindle e-reader. Now instead of copying and pasting text from Kindle into Facebook, you can simply highlight it and share it to Facebook. Facebook will paste the text into a new post in block quote format, and include a full preview of the original URL. It's similar to a feature that Medium introduced last year for sharing highlights on Twitter.
Publishers now have access to a tool that lets them build "share quote" buttons directly into their web pages and apps. That way, whenever a user highlights text on the page, a "share quote" button with the Facebook logo pops up. In light of the rest of today's news, quote sharing looks relatively minor. But in a world where people are sharing to Facebook less, it represents a new way for people to post to the site — and for publishers to drive traffic back to their pages.