Idea: "Inject" external content into Facebook (Twitter, Reddit...) feeds

I don’t like the fact that many people use Facebook as their main “feed” of all content, but let’s be pragmatic. For some it really is their “starting page” or “gateway” to the Internet, and the primary website they have open throughout the day. It’s where they see - or at least discover - almost everything they’re going to see online.

The problem this presents for content authors, community managers, app developers, etc. is that Facebook offers very little control - neither to content creators, nor even viewers - over the content that shows up in the Feed. You can use Facebook groups for e.g. software product communities, but it really offers little control, poor formatting, and lack of ownership of the data besides. For these and other reasons many product communities are based on Discourse or other privately hosted discussion platforms, outside the Facebook ecosystem. But this means those Facebook loyal people are unlikely to engage as much - or at all - with those communities outside of Facebook.

What if there was a browser extension (Chrome and/or Firefox, most likely) that could literally “inject” user-selected external content into their Facebook feed as if it were any other Facebook post? Of course there would be no on-Facebook comments ability, and it would be invisible to other users - i.e. it would not be a “post” from the user itself to their feed. For this reason (and more) it should probably show up with a unique design to make it clear that it’s not on-FB content. But the important point is it would allow for people to actually get more value out of what they’re doing anyway: scrolling Facebook forever.

Instead of trying to get people to migrate to a new platform, you just meet them where they are! (well, with a bit of extension configuration)

This may sound a bit far-fetched, but there are plugins that let you deeply customize the feed from Facebook itself, or restore the old design, or that remove ads, so why not ones that inject different content?

Obviously the source of said content would have to work well for the purpose. The already-existing Facebook meta-data previews for posted content could continue to work nicely. But you’d need rules and possibly “feeds” to draw from or “subscribe” to, externally. Maybe it could be RSS-based, or perhaps sites would need to specifically be supported.

Personally what I especially want to see is a way to get Discourse discussion topics integrated into Facebook feeds. That was the genesis of this whole idea for me. So I’d probably try to focus on that in any implementation. But that’s just my bias. :smiley:

I wouldn’t want to expend significant energy on this if it only worked with Facebook. I think the type of people who are heavily bound to Facebook as a platform are also on average going to be less likely to want to install, much less configure, an extension for their browser (I recognize that there are many fans of “Fluff Busting Purity”, but I question how many of those people use Facebook preferentially vs. by necessity, e.g. to keep in touch with certain family/friends). But I think you could probably make a more flexible extension that worked with multiple popular feed-based sites: Twitter, Reddit, and more perhaps.

I have more thoughts on all this. Coming soon…

Notes to parse:
Could potentially view links in a pop-up over the content, optionally, or just a new tab I guess (easier)
Mark item as read/seen on scroll optional?
Use RSS feeds from Discourse to get content
Could use any RSS feed
A button on each injected item for “share to site” (that the user is on)
Maybe could be done in collab with one of those existing Facebook feed modification Chrome plugins