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Social widgets surveys
Posted by Sam Soltano on 6 June 2011 in News, Social Widgets
Many webmasters try to make it easy for their visitors to share content of a website with their friends on a social network. This is done via social widgets.
Social widgets are small programs integrated into a website that allow visitors to interact with some form of social service in order to share information about the website with a group.
In our surveys, we include only widgets that support sharing, we don't include links to site-specific pages and follow-me widgets. The reason for that is, that we find that going to a dedicated page on another site is not yet a "social" interaction. Neither is subscribing to some information delivery via a social service. That is basically not more than visiting some companies website or using an RSS feed. In our view, a social interaction is to actively distribute information to a group of interlinked people.
Therefore, we make a distinction between different types of widgets that are usually provided by social networks. We include, for instance, the Twitter Tweet buttons, but not their Follow Me buttons. And we include Facebook Like buttons for sharing web content, but not Like buttons for "liking" a company's Facebook fan page.
But let's have a look at the results of the Social Widget survey. It's not a big surprise that Facebook is the leading social network, and Twitter is second. There is, however, a generic social widget on rank 2: AddThis. This is a service that provides a common interface to many social networks, and can make it easier for webmasters to support several platforms. We have two more generic widgets in our survey a bit further down: ShareThis and AddToAny.
The next widget is Delicious, a social bookmarking service owned by Yahoo. It is a little surprise to see them so high up, as Yahoo seems to have lost interest in it. Then, we have Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit, which are all well established players in the field.
The new kid on the block is Google +1. It launched less than a week ago and has relatively few users yet. It is sure to climb up in our survey, but how far remains to be seen. Many see this as the last chance for Google to make in impact in the social web.
The last widget in our survey is Slashdot. It is sad to see this service, that was once synonymous for social sharing, so out of fashion. The Slashdot effect still exists, but it hardly comes from Slashdot anymore.
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