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As some people might know, adding share buttons from Facebook and Twitter can cause a page to slow down. I've seen many sites pass on the common iframe implementations that these sites offer and simply create icons that link to a sharer url for better control of page performance. http://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F&t=CNN%26s+website%27

However, I've also read that Facebook is dropping support for these links. For example, this link now redirects to the Like Button. http://www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets/share.php

Here is an article noting that Facebook is deprecating/has deprecated it's share functionality and is sticking with the Like button. http://www.barbariangroup.com/posts/7544-the_facebook_share_button_has_been_deprecated_called_it

I'm assuming this is the same for the sharing url.

If the sharer url is no longer a reliable option, what other methods are there besides using 3rd party widgets (like Addthis)?

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2 Answers 2

It's worth NOT switching to the new APIs if you are putting the buttons on a website that protects its users privacy by not routing their info to third-party websites and not allowing cookies to be created or updated in their browsers.

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can you explain better this answer? –  PatomaS Oct 28 '12 at 3:33
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@PatomaS the iframe button is like adding Google Analytics code, except that the reciever is Facebook. With each request the visitor loads the iframe, and facebook can track the users because it loads this data from their site. JavaScript whizbang from Facebook is even worse. However with simple link to problem does not exist. –  Ciantic Mar 26 '13 at 16:26

You can still use the following link formats to share pages*, being sure to escape the URLs:

Twitter:

<a href="http://twitter.com/home?status=Your%20message%20here:%20http://yourshorturl.com">Share on twitter</a>

Facebook:

<a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://yourshorturl.com&t=Your%20message%20here.">Share on Facebook</a>

That said, it's worth adopting the official widgets that each company provide instead of using your own solution because:

  1. It standardises the UI across multiple sites and presents a button that visitors will be familiar with (and therefore more likely to click).

  2. The official widgets load remote JavaScript files from Facebook/Twitter. These will be cached in the visitor's browser for faster load on the next site that uses them, so using the official widgets presents little cause for slow down.

  3. It's harder to display how many times a link was shared without the widget; this information is useful both to site owners and in encouraging visitors to share already popular links (the so-called 'social proof' effect).

Major media websites (e.g. The Guardian) have adopted the official widgets; if it's good enough for them, there seems little benefit to me in hacking your own together.

*You mention reading that Facebook were dropping support for the above format, but don't say where you read this; I couldn't find any mention of this on their site or elsewhere. I think it's just that Twitter and Facebook don't share the above methods publicly because they'd rather you put a widget with their logo on your site.

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Agreed that my statement wasn't properly supported. I'll try to include a source when I find it again. –  TeeOh May 12 '11 at 17:10
    
stackoverflow.com/questions/6145489/… going... going... go –  Dallas Dec 4 '12 at 19:34

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