TechCrunch's Marshall Kirkpatrick is reporting that Facebook is dipping its toes into del.icio.us territory with a new social bookmarking feature
. Given the recent controversies over the News Feed
feature and Facebook's opening for all users
, the company is currently only letting Stanford and Berkeley users in on a private beta. The new sharing feature lets Facebook users bookmark both outside sites as well as Facebook pictures, notes, and profiles, and users can choose to share a bookmark publicly on their profile (in which event it will may appear on their friends' News Feed) or privately with the friends they choose. The bookmarking can be done by entering a URL into a form, clicking on a browser bookmarklet, or clicking on a "Share" button next to an item on Facebook. Justin Smith at Inside Facebook has more images of the feature
in action, which show a YouTube video being bookmarked. It looks like Facebook is smart enough to recognize that it's a video and put a thumbnail image in feeds as well as a full embedded player in your profile. Smith says it recognizes MP3s, too, and does the same.
I think this is a very cool feature, but though I don't think it will cause a stir like the News Feed did initially, I have a feeling that Facebook will be hearing its share of complaints. In the end, though, if they make great features that users ultimately find useful, even if the mere thought of change scares them at first, everybody wins.