I think we’ve reached the saturation point for sharing buttons that we’re supposed to embed on our websites.
- Twitter “Tweet This”
- Facebook “Like”
- Facebook “Share”
- Google “+1”
- Delicious “Add”
- Pinboard “Add”
- StumbleUpon “Submit”
And those are just the big ones.
Enough is Enough
It’s not realistic that every web publisher is going to add a new button each time the new social network de jour enters the fray. It’s similarly absurd to expect that users are going to hunt through a dozen icons to find the button they want to press. I’m not the first to notice this.
The Problem with Simplification
Some users (such as myself) have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinboard, and a variety of other networks. Others may spend most of their time on one site.
My first thought about how to solve this issue involved some sort of centralized button service. Much like Gravatar provides a global avatar, this service could serve a single button that would post to a user’s social network(s) of choice. The idea has a fatal flaw in that users don’t always want to share in the same way. Depending on a particular article, I might want to share it with my Twitter followers, or on Facebook, or perhaps I simply want it saved to Pinboard (perhaps to end up in one of my other people say compilations).
Darn, that sounded like a good idea.
So what’s the solution? Services such as AddThis make it easy to add the buttons as they arrive, but it doesn’t solve the clutter issue, or the fact that users must make multiple moves if they want an article in more than one place.
We need some sort of magic button. I don’t have a solution, but the current situation is messy.
If you liked this article, please press some buttons! (grr)