Why I got rid of the social media buttons

by Frank Martin

The short answer: Privacy

The longer answer:

1 I didn’t want to seem desperate: Have a chance to go take a look at Zen Habits or mnmlist yet? Notice something unusual about Leo’s blogs? Yup, no social media buttons. Yet they’re both ragingly popular and successful. The fact that the tiny numbers next to them at m3 were me publicizing my own stuff probably don’t help.

2 Load times: In doing some research into this I found a screen cap of what goes on behind the scenes when a page with those buttons is loading. Guess what? Those buttons create a couple HUNDRED server requests all by themselves. They’re also responsible for jaggy scrolling and all sorts of other nonsense.

3 Privacy: This one may well be the most important. I rather value privacy, mine and that of my readers. Turns out, whether you click one of those buttons or not, those services track wherever you go that has them, assuming you’ve logged into that service in the past month. Facebook keeps the info for something like three months. Google only stores it for two or three weeks, but that’s not much better in my book. For my fellow Word Pressers, I’m keeping the WP button, but the rest are gone. Instead, please reblog, comment, etc. Honestly, I value community and conversation more than likes, and if I write something you particularly like, I’m pretty sure you’d share it whether or not those buttons were there.


ETA: For those interested, here is the article that convinced me to bid adieu to those buttons.