Facebook Launches Send Dialog So Apps and Sites Can Prompt Users to Microshare

Today, Facebook launched the Send dialog, which allows apps and websites to display a prompt for users to share content by sending a Facebook Message or email, or posting to one of their Facebook Groups. The Send Dialog takes the functionality of the Send button, which lets users initiate microsharing of stable web content, and allows developers to proactively ask users to microshare as part of their app or site’s flow.

The Send dialog will help drive referral traffic to apps whose content is too private to be shared with a user’s entire friend list. Facebook says it will be especially helpful for developers of ecommerce, travel, and event websites and apps, and it’s already active on Airbnb, Gogobot, Keepsy, Jetsetter, SniqueAway, and Viagogo.

Facebook released the Send button on April 25th to complement the share-to-all-friends Like button, take over functionality of its now deprecated Share button, and replace email buttons used on some sites. Today the company notes that 100,000 sites integrated the Send button in the first month, indicating the need for the private sharing capabilities that will be expanded through the Send Dialog.

Developers can now begin building the Send dialog into their flows using the code found in Facebook’s documentation. Similar to the Like button, it does not require extended permissions from a user, though this dialog does not currently support mobile usage. A Facebook employee tells us “Currently the Send Dialog activity is not available in Insights; we are planning to add this functionality in the near future.” This means developers should soon be able to see metrics about Send dialog views and clicks, and views and clicks of inbox Messages sent through the Send dialog, similar to data reported by the Send button.

Facebook says “the Send Dialog is appropriate when a person might otherwise send a personal email” and shouldn’t be used to communicate impersonal content such as of in-game status or to deliver invites. Facebook apps should instead use the Requests channel for that type of content.

Photo book site Keepsy is using the Send dialog so that users can share the photo books they’ve made from a combination of private photos and Facebook photos with the friends tagged in those photos. Rather than use the less customizable Send button, Keepsy displays a tab when you finish creating a photo book that says “Tell your friends” and shows the faces of tagged friends. When clicked, a Send dialog appears pre-populated with those friends as recipients.

The Facebook Message sent through the dialog could lead those friends back to the Keepsy site where they could buy the photobook. In this way the Send dialog generates traffic and sales without forcing users to share a link with all their friends that might lead to private photos.

By providing more ways for developers to access the microsharing functionality of the Send button, Facebook may be able to drive more traffic to niche and private content without filling the news feed with stories that are irrelevant or not suitable for all of a user’s friends.

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