Facebook is reportedly in the process of testing a brand new in-app browser that will allow users to view web pages from within the app. Unlike the current browser that only allows the viewing of a single web page, the new one also allows users to browse to other pages via the search bar…
The new browser has been in testing for a couple of months with mentions as far back as December 4th 2015. What’s so interesting is that now users will be able to navigate to different URLs without leaving the app.
The new feature could prove a useful piece of integration for users, providing a more streamlined online experience by allowing them to discover new information without having to switch between apps and risk losing their train of thought. Aside from allowing you to follow hyperlinks to other pages, the current browser doesn’t do much beyond the basic loading of your desired content. Because of this, the new feature feels like a natural progression for the network and is very much in keeping with their ultimate aim of reducing the amount of time users have to spend out of app.
Alongside the development in usability the new browser looks slicker and far more in keeping with Facebook branding than previous attempts. It also allows users to gauge the popularity of a post, navigate more fluidly between pages with in-built forward and back buttons and includes a bookmark button.
Unfortunately, as it is only in the test stages, only a small amount of IOS users have been able to access the new browser. Therefore we can only speculate as to the other features, although it is clear in images that a menu bar is included. It isn’t yet clear when the browser will be rolled out to all users.
Overall, Facebook has made it clearly evident in the past that they want to eliminate the need for users to leave the network and are constantly producing new features to that effect. Therefore it’s safe to say that this definitely isn’t the first step in them working towards crafting the network into a self-contained digital ecosystem – and it certainly won’t be the last.