Facebook Announces New, Improved Share and Save Options, Social Plugins

Facebook released Save to Facebook and Share to Facebook buttons for Chrome; redesigned its social plugin buttons; and will offer publishers the ability to add like, comment and share buttons to the bottom of Instant Articles.

Sharing is caring, and Facebook Tuesday introduced several improved ways for developers of applications and websites to enable their users to share (and save) to the social network.

Facebook announced in a blog post that it released Save to Facebook and Share to Facebook buttons for Google Chrome; redesigned its social plugin buttons (like, share, send, follow, recommend, save); and will offer publishers the ability to add like, comment and share buttons to the bottom of Instant Articles “in the coming weeks.”

The new Chrome buttons are available to developers via the Chrome Web Store. The Save to Facebook button enables users to save web content to a private bookmark on Facebook and view that content later, while the Share to Facebook button enables them to share content to the social network, groups and Messenger while they are outside of Facebook.

Software engineer Yue Cai wrote in the blog post:

We want to help people connect with each other through sharing the things that matter to them. Share to Facebook will give people more options to share any link on the web with their friends to Facebook, groups and Messenger.

Today, more than 300 million people use the save on Facebook feature every month. We launched the save button at F8 this year to give people the ability to also save things they discover around the rest of the web and receive notification reminders to visit their save list. People can access the things they save any time, on any device in a private, dedicated bookmark on Facebook. The Save to Facebook Chrome extension offers another easy way for people to save articles, videos, products and other interesting items while browsing the web.

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Facebook said in an email to SocialTimes that its social plugin buttons were redesigned with an eye toward color consistency, a flat design and including the content’s like and share counts within the button, and Cai added in the blog post:

The like and share buttons both use the Facebook “f” logo today. Our hypothesis was that more people would understand the thumbs-up icon on the like button, so we conducted qualitative and quantitative tests to measure them side-by-side. The results revealed an increase in engagement, so we are switching the like button from the Facebook “f” logo to the thumbs-up icon.

Additionally, new versions of all our social plugin buttons are now available with the following improvements:

  • Mobile-friendly: The original like button was designed when mobile was in its early days. More than 30 percent of like button impressions come from mobile devices, and we are releasing new button sizes so you can choose the best one for your site on desktop or mobile.
  • Cleaner design: We modernized our entire suite of social plugin buttons with updated icons that better reflect the Facebook brand and provide a more engaging experience for people. The new design system will work across all of our buttons, and it includes color consistency, a flat button design and like and share counts within the button for a cleaner, more refined visual style.
  • Backwards-compatible: The like and share buttons are embedded in millions of third-party sites, so we made sure that any changes we made worked with every configuration previously available. In this design process, we did exhaustive testing with different languages and in the context of people’s sites to ensure backwards compatibility and scalability.

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Finally, when the like, comment and share buttons are made available for Instant Articles, interactions with those buttons will be included in that content’s aggregate like and share counts, and Facebook users’ comments will be mirrored between Instant Articles and websites if the comments plugin is enabled.

Readers: What do you think of the improved sharing and saving tools introduced by Facebook Tuesday?

ShareToFacebookChromeExtension from SocialTimes on Vimeo.