Recently at work, I was given the task of implementing social engagement buttons for the likes of Google +1, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
And the successful implementaion was in two phases.
The first phase: Installing/Configuring the scripts for inclusion and second was testing them out!
Here comes the comparison of their usage:
Ease of finding share buttons.
Here LinkedIN fared last(it took me some time to reach the actual page)), while facebook came second last(it was simply not intuitive to see what changes were getting affected) and google just beat twitter for better placement of the generated script.
Basis: Easy finding + Instant display of customization + Zero extra effort.
Size of included JS
Here FB was last with 100+KB of script, while other three were quite okay, seemingly under 29KB all three combined.
Ease of understanding the tag’s
Here the clear winner is twitter, as they simple do a script include and use an anchor tag! It can not get simpler than this. Google came second by making it complex by adding their own custom tag. FB was ugly, while LinkedIN was pathetic, as there was not handle that I could find in their code!
Basis:I am a non-UI guy, so and anchor tag + js include sounds like I am at home!
Alignment on the UI
Twitter and Google fared quite well here, as placing them in a span/div tag, did not distort their buttons, whle FB and LinkedIN folks seems to have done a sloppy job here. Try putting a div around them and you might see their button’s vanishing at times!
Basis:I should be given complete freedom to place the button’s where I like’em.
Getting them to work!
All 4 of these scored 0 on this front. I wasted one whole day trying to figure-out the reason for these tag’s not working on localhost. Surprisingly they require a live public url for them to work fine!
Basis:I suppose I should be able to test on local how these buttons look for testing!
After getting them to work!
Al most all of these have a bug that if I delete the publicly promoted link/url/etc, the count does not seem to come down accordingly.Strange, but true.
No – Thank You!
For incorporating all of them I had to create a new id and register. I am glad I did it that ways, because LinkedIN was all over me pouring all their corporate tie-ups link/spam/trash all to me and making me a subscriber by default. Also reading the fine print LinkedIN seems like they are selling all infromations to 3rd party affiliates without a clear consent!
Going through FB and twitter settings was also a pain, did not go through details on +1!
Basis: No thanks for the spam!
The inclusion codes for each of these are available on these sites:
Well after checking out the code on a live public url, I suppose the feature would easily come out, but this was an interesting learning experience about how do folks at big public organizations code!
Twitter seems to be leading in this front by keeping it really simple!