Facebook is testing a new View Shares feature for comments. As you can see in the screenshot above, a small subset of users are reportedly seeing a new View Shares button at the bottom of stories posted in their News Feed. The number of shares appears to be the amount of people who have reposted the story, which was originally posted either by a Facebook friend or by a Facebook Page.
If you click this link, a popover window displays who has reposted the story as well as any additional context they added. You can only see the shares which are visible by your account (meaning a post published by one of your friends or a post published publicly by anyone). This is why in the screenshot above there are 15 shares while in the screenshot below you can only see five of them:
If Facebook does end up rolling out this feature to all of its 750 million active users, it will be yet another metric to see how popular a given story is, in addition to comments and Likes. On many of its counters, Facebook currently lumps together Likes and comments under its Like counter, and Shares will likely also be added to make the number even bigger.
The Share option to repost a News Feed story has been around for a while now, but the number of reposts was never displayed on the original story, unlike comments and Likes. Now the Share link has the same expanded presence, which may serve to remind users about the option.
The addition of View Shares will likely remind users (or inform them in the first place) that there is a Share feature. At the same time, Page administrators will finally be able to tell how many times their posts are being shared.