What’s the skinny? Earlier today Facebook rolled out a notification screen to alert people when an article they are about to share is more than 90 days old. Facebook says this is in an effort to give people the right context and is a further extension to the context button they added back in 2018. The context button provides information about the sources of articles in News Feeds.
This new notification screens intended goal is to ensure people have the context they need to make informed decisions about what they post on Facebook. I think at this point we have all seen a friend post something on Facebook and seeing people react to it as if it just happened today when in fact it happened many years ago. I can see this new feature helping but really the real answer is people reading the article before posting it to their social media.
Facebook says their internal research shows that the timeliness of an article is an important piece of context that helps people to know what to read, trust and share on their social media. It makes sense as old articles can misconstrue the state of current events, something Facebook says some news outlets have taken steps to address on their own.
Over the next few months Facebook will also be testing other uses for notification screens. One use case in particular is a notification screen for articles regarding COVID-19. They are currently exploring possibilities of a notification screen that provides information about the source of the article and directing people to COVID-19 Information Center for authoritative health information.