Social sharing buttons are ineffective
Heads up! This post was written in 2014, so it may contain information that is no longer accurate. I keep posts like this around for historical purposes and to prevent link rot, so please keep this in mind as you're reading.
Back in 2012, I wrote an article called Down with the "Share" Widget. In it, I talked about why plastering social sharing buttons all over your website is completely ineffective. This morning, Smashing Magazine all but confirmed my theory.
In today's Smashing Newsletter, they wrote:
Are social sharing buttons really that effective to be placed in the most visible areas of websites, sometimes even as “sticky" notes on the left or on the right side of the page? Are there any case studies which provide proof that these social icons are actually effective? Or are they indeed ineffective, barely used and really just annoying?
While their stance isn't conclusive, the fact that they even raised the question says quite a bit. Are people are finally becoming desensitized to all the Facebook and Twitter logos everywhere? Maybe now that social media is commonplace, we can all get back to writing better content instead of designing trendy new share widgets.