Social networking and information sharing are at all time highs, and Google is looking to capitalize on that with new Android Chrome web snippets and shareable card features users should really learn how to use.
Specifically, the company is looking to help users share information taken from across the web more easily. And in a way that’s more useful not only for adding context to the information. But also in a way that’s visually appealing and more apt for sharing via social media and apps. Although, it may not be the most intuitive feature around.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what this guide is here for. To help you learn how to access not only the latest available text snippet sharing features, which take users to quotes directly on the source webpage. But also to discover upcoming shareable card features, which include text snippets from websites in a more visually-appealing format, complete with links to the featured text.
What are stylized web notes and why would you want to share them?
Now, as hinted above, shareable stylized web notes — as they’re called in Chrome — are effectively quotes from a website shared as a card-style image. Following on the trend of sharing quotes and memes via social media. But, in this case, they also serve as links to the exact text within a given web page. And that can serve several purposes.
Not least of all, if the past several years have proven anything, it’s that snippets of text tend to be more quotable. Almost serving as micro-memes, especially when formated into images. So they can ultimately be much more impactful shared that way than as simple text.
By including a link that goes directly to the source of the information quoted, conversely, users add even more power to the words. Namely, by providing an easy way for anybody to click over to where the information was. And effectively to see that information for themselves as well as better understand where it comes from.
That makes the web snippets shareable via stylized web notes on image cards a potentially monumental feature — and one that everybody should learn how to use. Especially in this modern age of widespread misinformation and mined quote sharing. But also more simply as a way to share information without requiring the receiving party to dig for the exact details.
And, of course, there are any number of other uses for this tool as well. So lets dig right in and see how this feature works in Chrome.
There are two ways to create web snippets, stylized web notes or not, in Chrome
Of course, Google isn’t solely working on a way to make web snippets shareable in the form of stylized web notes, as a card, in Chrome so it isn’t only important users learn how to share those. Chrome, on Android and beyond, also allows web snippets to be directly linked to by end-users. Shareable as a direct text quote and a link that takes users to that text highlighted.
More importantly, the latter method isn’t currently confined to Chrome Canary. Although we’ll discuss that momentarily. And there’s every reason to believe that both will eventually be possible on desktop platforms as well. But that’s a topic for another day. In the interim, lets dig into just how both of these tools for creating a shareable card or direct links to text are used in Chrome.
How to create a shareable link directly to text in Chrome for Android
As noted above, the first method is much less involved and much less complex. It’s also a slightly older method, albeit still fairly new since it landed later on in 2021 and isn’t necessarily widely used or known. Summarily, allowing users to share a piece of text directly from a website. And a link directly to that text, which is highlighted by Chrome for the reader or recipient once the link is opened on any platform. Making it all the more useful for any number of purposes.
- First, you’ll need to open up Google Chrome. For this step and sharing method, any version of Chrome will be acceptible. Although an update may be required if it’s been some time since one took place
- Open a new tab and navigate to the website to be linked. For our example, we’ve opted to use Android Headlines as a sample. And specifically, the page for our top ten Chromebooks
- Scroll to the text that will be linked. Our guide creates a link to the best Chromebook for battery life and performance
- Press and hold to begin highlighting the text. Ensure that all desired text is highlighted
- Chrome will put forward a menu for copying, pasting, and more. Select the “Share” option from within that menu
- The next page put forward by Chrome is a card-style menu for choosing just where the text will be shared and how. If you’d like to share only the copied text, there’s a link-shaped icon to the right that can be pressed too. But, for the time being, select the “Copy” option without tapping that link icon
- Long press in the text field the text is to be shared to. Press “Paste” (or select the oval-shaped chip the keyboard presents containing the link)
- When clicked or tapped, the shared link should showcase the page that was shared, with the user automatically navigated to the intended text. That will be highlighted for them so that they can see the text itself more easily. And so that they can read further to gain more context about the shared text
How to create a shareable card in Chrome for Android
To share a text snippet that provides a similar response when clicked or tapped by a user, but as a card-style image shareable directly from Chrome, you’ll need to start by making sure Chrome Canary is installed. The app is experimental, buggy, and free to use. And while it may not be the best choice as a daily driver, it’s presently the only place this feature is available.
Once added, that’s the browser the following steps will need to take place in. That’s because, at least for now, this feature is tucked behind a flag we’ll activate first.
- Open up a new tab in Chrome Beta (this should work later on without the flag setting but for now, it’s only available there and in the beta app)
- Navigate to the URL “chrome://flags” using the URL Omnibox
- Tap on the search bar within the Experiments page and enter the search term “WebNotes”
- The top result should be the one that we’re looking for. However, if it isn’t, then users will need to look for the flag “#webnotes-stylize”
- In the drop-down menu next to the WebNotes Stylize option, select “Enabled”
- Chrome should show an option at the bottom of the page to “Relaunch” Chrome Beta. It may need to be manually relaunched by closing the window and then restarting Chrome, potentially more than once. But a tap on that button should restart Chrome with the feature Enabled
After activating the flag, the remaining steps are fairly straightforward. And they should, if previous changes in Chrome are any indication, stay the same even when Google adds the shareable web notes card UI to the stable version of Chrome. So users should be able to return to this guide even after it is finalized for a refresher, should they forget how to share the snippets.
- Open up Chrome Beta (again, this should work in all Chrome versions in the near future, if it doesn’t already appear)
- Navigate to the site containing the web snippet to be shared. In the example images below, we’ve navigated to the Android Headlines article showcasing our top ten picks for Chromebook devices
- Scroll the page to find the text to be shared as a navigable snippet. For our example, we’ve chosen to highlight the Best Chromebook for balancing performance with battery life. Highlight the text on-page via a tap and hold, then select the appropriate text using the on-screen slider UI
- Tap the “Share” option in the resulting pop-up menu
- Now, users are free at this juncture to simply select “Copy” as shown in the images below. That will copy the text snippet itself and a sharable link directly to the text. That’s as opposed to a link to the top of the web page
- Or, users can select the new “Create card” option, which is what this guide is intended to showcase
- Upon selecting “Create card,” Chrome will highlight several stylized options. Those can be scrolled through to the left and right via swipes. For our example, we’ve chosen the final style in the group, dubbed “Dreamy”
- After making a selection, press the Next button at the top-right-hand side of the UI
- Chrome will present a range of options for sharing the newly-created card, including the option to simply copy the image. Although, copying the image itself doesn’t appear to create a shareable link as the other options do, as of this writing
- Selecting an app to share the image in will load up the standard UI for sharing content, as normal