Social share buttons

Steven Grant

by Steven Grant on February 20, 2014

A common request we get on projects is 'I want our users to be able to share this content on various social networks'.

I don't like it personally. Besides from the performance aspect of display those buttons/icons, I feel they can clutter an interface, especially given the number of social networks out there.

The UK government launched a new responsive website last year - a major achievement for government given how slow they can be to adapt to change at times.

Stakeholders made the same request to their developers at the end of 2013 and they've blogged about their analysis since that feature was implemented.

The 'too long didn't read' version:

Overall sharing rates using the buttons are pretty low, way less than 1 percent.

Based on 6.8m page views, just 0.2% of that came from Facebook and Twitter.

Their conclusion:

...from what we’ve seen so far, our users aren’t exactly demonstrating an overwhelming case for us retaining social sharing buttons – at least on desktops.

I feel that sometimes clients think you push back on their requests because its more work for us or that the request is tough and we can't deliver. Neither of those could be further from the truth. We want our clients to succeed—when they do, GHIJK do to. Their success reflects well on ability to deliver what they need.

When we push back, its because we look at the overall picture as to whether it'll help the client achieve what they're looking to do and use our past experience to guide that.


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