Great article. How do I share it?
Why I’m done writing blog post titles like this
10 reasons why social share buttons are the worst thing in design.
You won't believe what happened when this website removed social share buttons!
Social share buttons killed my startup. Find out how.
Agree, 100%. Everytime I make a new website, I always have trouble with figuring out where the social share buttons should be, because they never seem to add value (IMO). I eventually just forget about it though.
Honestly, most of the visits to my portfolio are from here and other blogs that like my posts about deploying Jekyll to DigitalOcean and configuring your server for SSL. People care about the content and share the information with others.
I believe Firefox now has sharing built-into the browser. Social buttons are dead (on web), they just don't know it yet.
Does it not depend on who the article/website is aimed at?
Power users have better ways of sharing than using the sharing buttons. I use the tools baked into my RSS reader if I want to share. Most of the time, it's for Instapaper, Pinboard or Twitter, depending on what I want the article for.
Non-power users would probably never visit Solomon.io or Information Architects.
Those sharing buttons are not for you. They're for the cat-picture-sharing crowd.
On a more important note.. What's with that horizontally-flipped apostrophe in the headlines on Solomon.io?!
”During the time period we analysed, GOV.UK URLs were shared a total of 14,078 times to Facebook and Twitter using our sharing buttons - that’s 0.2% of the total of 6.8 million pageviews.“
From the GOV.UK blog
I wonder if "Should we have social share buttons?" will become the next "Should designers code?" debate.
I use Twitter sharing buttons sometimes. Not often, but I do. I'm going to continue making and implementing my own social buttons. Just a styled
<a>tag linking to the share URL. Regardless of how effective they are (because we can be up all night debating that), social share buttons can be implemented quickly and responsibly (no tracking if you don't embed the ones they give you), and something that's important to me is clients like them.
Clients also like carousels, tile layouts, and other things which have been proven ineffective. Doing things that clients like is fine, as long as you understand that you might be compromising usability.
Obviously I'm willing to push back where necessary, but I really don't think social share buttons are going to compromise usability.
There's no real downside to it. The worst that can happen is users don't click them!
Oh, yeah, totally agree with you there. They're harmless, as long as they're not like popping up in modals all over the place.
Strange that this article is being shared again over a year after it was written, but in any case iA beat it by 2 years.