The Bane of Share Buttons

If you have this on your site, please remove it. Just delete the code. Please.

ShareThis Can Suck It

Why would this look good — anywhere? Seeing a variation of this row of share buttons is just as vexing as seeing Flash ads initiate without your consent. Services like ShareThis are the bane of the Internet. If someone is going to share or link to an article (or product or service), they’ll likely do it by either:

  1. Copying the URL and pasting (because haven’t we habitually been doing this for decades?)
  2. Using their mobile OS’s built-in share service (which often includes the most important methods)

And for the sake of sensibility, if you’re going to do this, at least place them at the bottom of the article. Why the fuck would you put them at the top, near the title? By doing this, you assume your reader has read the content already — just as they land at the top of the page. This is impossible. And publications that send out newsletters with the share buttons affixed to the titles of featured articles (ahem, Atlantic) demonstrate even more incompetence.

You should loathe seeing share buttons on pages because of the following:

  • Off-color, different-sized buttons clash with the aesthetic of your website
  • Share options typically load pre-written text surrounding a link that doesn’t reflect your sentiments or your readers’
  • Low share numbers recorded on some of the buttons can depress readers’ trust in your content
  • More numbers to keep track of by way of more analytics on shared links — which, by the way, may even conflict with readers’ own methods for shortening URLs or doing other things to your URL that you can’t even track with a service like ShareThis

This isn’t a rant. It’s good advice. Take it and make the Internet a better place.