Adding Facebook Share buttons to your website has always been one of the simplest ways to let users more easily share content with their friends on Facebook and drive traffic to your site. Today, Facebook is launching two interesting upgrades to Facebook Share that should make it more valuable to web publishers: “live count” widgets and Share analytics.
The new “live count” widgets
With the new “live count” widgets, webmasters can now make it easy for anyone to see the number of times the current URL has been shared on Facebook. It works just like Tweetmeme‘s widget for counting shares on Twitter. Developers can easily implement the widget by adding a couple lines of HTML to their code, and there are a couple different size options to best fit your layout. Here’s how it looks:
We expect the widget to become very popular pretty quickly. Here’s a quick rundown of all the different formatting options for the new share widget:
You can also translate your share button easily by wrapping the text you want to appear in the anchor tags.
Facebook’s new Share analytics
In addition, Facebook today is launching new tools to allow developers to see Facebook Share stats for any URL. Facebook is allowing anyone to see the following stats on any URL:
- a total Share count
- a total “like” count
- a total comments count
- a total click count
Developers should use the REST API or link stats FQL query to get these metrics, which are really powerful (see Facebook’s Developer Wiki for details). Techmeme is already using the REST API methods to analyze sharing patterns on Facebook to select top stories, and bit.ly and awe.sm are using it for analyzing traffic for their own publisher analytics services.
For example, here’s what the results look like for a sample URL: