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Killing "ShareThis"

Add Comment! By Jeffrey Rosen on January 2nd, 2010

For a long time, we've had a ShareThis widget embedded for each blog post, in the hopes that people would click on it and then share the post on one of 50+ different sharing services (del.icio.us, Digg, Facebook, etc.). For a content producer, the idea of ShareThis is really appealing, and I had assumed it was a "best practice" for a website.

ShareThis fail whale

However, in reality, I've noticed that no one actually clicks the ShareThis widget. In fact, after millions of page views, the ShareThis widget has been used just a small handful of times. Something on the order of 30 times, according to their stats. This is not too surprising, considering it is sort of dubious and confusing to use, compared to just copy/pasting the URL into the service manually.

Additionally, in the few times it is actually used, the reader ends up sharing the post on Facebook or Twitter. At least in my experience, there is no significant "long tail" of sharing services which might merit the confusingly epic list.

Finally, to add insult to injury, ShareThis loads kind of slowly and has been the source of several complaints since as of last month, it pops open on mouse over.

Therefore, I removed ShareThis and went straight to the source, adding Facebook and Twitter buttons! Check them out below!

Hopefully that encourages more sharing, since these buttons are actually much more straightforward and have a cool counter on them. I'm curious to see if it makes a difference!