Ever since I launched Budding Geek, I have made several changes to the basic structure and design of this blog. It’s not that I have been hopping from one design to another. In fact, it’s the gradual maturity in design and user-interface that led me to make these changes over time. Lately, doing away with social share buttons was one of those changes. In this post today, I will share 5 reasons why I don’t use social share buttons on my blog anymore.
1.) Social share buttons slow down website
Today, Speed of your website is one of the key factors which Google takes into account while ranking webpages. Therefore, I don’t think that it’s worth it to have those shiny and colorful social share buttons on my webpages.
2.) Cause disturbance to readers
I believe that the intent of using social share buttons is to maximize the reach of your blog posts. In this pursuit, it’s natural to place these social share buttons on the top, below, or even as a sticky floating bar on the left or right side of your site layout.
It’s good for maximizing your reach, but unfortunately it spoils the user-experience. It simply distracts the readers from enjoying a clean reading experience. Do you agree with me? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
3.) Eats up screen-size on smartphones
Another reason why I stopped using social share buttons is because they eat-up the precious screen-space on smartphones of my readers. Fixed floating social share buttons that stick to the bottom edge of smartphones do even worse to the user-experience.
Considering even large display screens such as 6.5 inches, the smartphone screen is still smaller and can’t be compared to the reading experience that may be enjoyed on a laptop or tablet. Placing social share buttons on your articles further diminishes the amount of visible screen on a smartphone. Isn’t it a bad user-experience?
4.) Restrict (informed readers) with limited sharing options
When we use social sharing buttons on our blog, we have our own personal preference to decide which social platforms should be displayed and which shouldn’t. If we think from the point of view of readers, it means that we are restricting them or maybe forcing them to share our webpages on only the social platforms provided by us.
5.) Impedes the privacy of readers
All social sharing plugins use a tracking code or cookies to track the behavior of target audience, more particularly the browsing and sharing patterns of visitors.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example.
Suppose a person named Terry visits my blog. She is reading an article related to iPhone tips and tricks. She likes the article and decided to share the article on Twitter. Just as she hovers the cursor on Twitter and clicks the share button, the social plugin will save a cookie on to her computer with details of activity related to her browsing and sharing pattern.
Now when she reads some other related article on the web, having the same social share plugin, it will immediately recognize that Terry is interested in iPhones and will probably start displaying targeted ads on that webpage.
How do I expect my readers to share the articles?
In the absence of social share buttons on my blog, it’s natural for you to ask – “Abhishek, how are your readers going to share the articles now?”
With the unprecedented adoption of smartphones and apps ecosystem, I believe that the average person reading this article is smart enough to know how to share this article using the share UI integrated in their mobile browser.
Even if my readers are not reading this article on mobile devices, they know how to copy the post URL and share it across social media platforms of their own choice!
How is my decision? Do you agree with the arguments made in this post? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.