When ShareThis launched, I was excited to remove the list of viral icons I had on the site and replace it with one simple button. The problem is that the button has been a miserable failure on my blog. On posts that have had hundreds of referrals and thousands of mentions across social media sites, ShareThis was used under ten times!
The problem with ShareThis is that it's not easy for the reader.
Let's say, for example, the reader wants to share a story they found on Twitter.
- They mouseover the ShareThis link.
- They have to click on Twitter.
- They have to provide a login.
- They have to provide a password
- They have to click post.
Too many steps. Far too many steps.
I state that ShareThis is 50% because they pay a lot of attention to the publisher experience and not enough attention to the users' experience. ShareThis has the potential of being a great application if they do one simple thing – make it easier to share.
Sharebox was a great feature addition – users can now view the items they've shared. It's not enough, though.
As a user, I should be able to login to ShareThis once and set up my social networks once. When I visit another website… I should already be logged into ShareThis so I can simply click a button to pass it to Twitter, Facebook, or another network (much like Tweetmeme does for Twitter). No logging on… no filling in details (unless they're optional)… just share!
I look forward to seeing how ShareThis evolves in 2010. I'm keeping it here on the blog because it does provide some value. The potential is much, much more though.