You may have noticed that all of the social media buttons that normally appear under each article and news have been completely removed. As far as I can tell, they are never ever being touched, and all they do (beside tracking users) is slow down the load of the page (each one of those buttons involves its own bit of script). Turns out that I'm not alone: according to Sam Solomon, TV host of Signal Tower, these "unsightly relics of the web 2.0 era [...] arent worth a damn anymore, and they wont bring you traffic." This part pretty much explains the reasoning:
I never paid much attention to sharing buttons. I always thought they were a poor user experience.
Im a minimalist. When it comes to web design, I value white space, typography and function. People come to your site for the writing, which is why a focus on these elements will almost always result in a good user experience. Adding non-essential elements to a page reduces signal and creates noise.
If you are on the internet for the cat pictures, this does not apply.
Beyond the added noise there are other odd experiences using social buttons. Clicking on a button opens a popup window filled with oddly formatted text, marketing speak, and a ton of other stuff I dont want to send out to friends and followers. All of the above degrades credibility.
Popups are awkward. Even moreso on phones and tablets, which brings up another point. Every phone and tablet has a browser with built-in sharing, and mobile devices are gaining marketshare.
The user doesnt come out of nowhere. We dont land on your page and then head happily to those social networks to promote you, just because you have a button on your site. We find content through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc., not the other way around.
- Whoever uses social networks to find content, usually begins the web journey there and goes back naturally. We dont need to be reminded of what network we use on the way. We know. We came from there.
- For those who dont use social networks the social media buttons are completely useless.
- If readers are too lazy to copy and paste the URL, and write a few words about your content, then it is not because you lack these magical buttons.
|Not Foster Wallace (But Sure Look Like Him)|
|Censoring @WikiLeaks Over #CableGate: First EveryDNS, Then Amazon, PayPal and Now Twitter|
|Real-Time ASCII Art Conversion of Google Street View|
|To Unfriend or not to Unfriend: That is the Facebook Question|
|Send Someone You Hate a Bag of Dicks to Eat|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Are the puppets coming for our jobs?”|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“A man-powered machine that creates scarfs in 5 minutes.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|