Facebook's in-app browser

Facebook is rolling out a new feature in its app that many have offered for some time — an in-app browser — to speed up reading and sharing of links found within the social network. As is the case in many RSS readers and Twitter apps, Facebook's in-app browser will load the web page of a link you clicked within the Facebook app, rather than tossing you out to Chrome or another browser that you have installed on your phone.

The main benefit here is speed, because the lightweight in-app browser doesn't need to load any additional assets or launch a whole secondary app, but there are also other benefits. Facebook's browser gives you quick options to re-share the link into a new post of your own without backing out to the original post, saving you a step when you share. You'll also have the options to copy the link for sharing or opening the link in your browser of choice.

In a somewhat un-Facebook move there's also a setting in the app to turn off in-app browsing altogether, pushing all links to your favorite installed browser. That's a bonus.

The in-app browser seems to be rolling out to a seemingly random group of accounts (Facebook often does this), and doesn't seem to be tied to just the beta or stable versions of the Facebook app. You'll know if you have this new feature as soon as you tap a link within Facebook and aren't taken to an external browser — be on the lookout.

Thanks, Brian Z!

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