This post is 50% rant, 50% a heads-up to the Facebook devs, and 50% mathematical enigma…
For a while now I’ve shared other people’s Facebook posts on my personal profile and noticed that some of them would show up as expected, while others would show up… differently. And by “differently” I mean incorrectly and therefore badly. I’ve just discovered why and how it happens: the issue is with sharing via mobile in particular.
Sharing on Facebook desktop vs Facebook mobile
When you share someone’s post, if they have written some text while sharing a link and you hit the ‘Share Now (Friends)’ option, you expect the whole lot to be shared: the text, the link, and it should say “Steve Morgan shared [original poster]’s post.” Like this:
This is how it works – on desktop. On mobile, Facebook strips the text and the “Steve Morgan shared…” bit, and only shares the link. Completely devoid of context. Here I am tapping ‘Share Now (Friends)’ on mobile…
…and here’s the end result:
I’m using an iPhone 7, currently on iOS 10.3.2, and the version of the Facebook iOS app is 132.0. Not that I think any of that matters, given that it’s been happening for a while (so I don’t think it’s iOS or app version specific).
It’s not just bog-standard posts that’s affected
At first I thought it was only normal post-sharing functionality that was affected. But I discovered the issue when I tried sharing an ‘On this Day’ post.