Facebook is redesigning the way iOS users share content on its site from third-party apps. On Wednesday, the company showed off a new share extension for iOS, which makes it possible for users to easily control the content they share and with whom they share their updates with.

Facebook

Making it easier and simpler

Third-party apps make use of share extensions to help users share content through Facebook. Alyssa Levitz, product manager at Facebook, explained that iOS has had the feature for quite some time, but it has not been very successful in terms of user experience.

Levitz said that there was ample room for improvements to make the experience better. With the previous version of the extension, it was not possible for users to tag friends, preview their posts or filter who could see the post they shared. The company has addressed all these issues in its new share extension.

The experience when sharing from third-party apps is very similar to sharing on Facebook. Users can tag friends and choose whether or they want to share it publicly, with friends or with a select group of people. The user also gets to see a full preview of the post before posting it. The extension also allows users to share from apps without requiring them to share their credentials with the service.

Big benefits to Facebook

Many might look at this as a relatively minor change, but for Facebook it could mean a huge opportunity. Levitz informed users that the sharing of content from the third-party apps exceeded 50 billion last year. For this reason, making the process a little easier and more engaging will make a significant impact on the way people share to Facebook.

“A simpler sharing experience makes it easier for people to share things that interest them, which leads to more engagement and referral traffic for apps,” the social network said in a blog post.

Facebook released the new sharing feature to the developers on Wednesday. Developers who already have their application built to use the native Facebook sharing extension will automatically start making use of the new experience.