Last week Facebook added some new tools to its public sharing toolbox and is aggressively whittling away at one of the most vexing issues in the social network world – unfiltered sharing.
See, lots of folks have built large Facebook followings and currently try to use their Facebook profile to share what’s important in their work world mixed with what’s important in their 3yr old niece’s world. The unfiltered nature of sharing stuff on Facebook and other social networks remains a business challenge. A like is a like on your profile whether it’s an industry article or a killer black dress.
Facebook introduced something called Groups a while back and I think this was a great start. The idea here is that you could segment your friends into groups, such as Family or Coworkers, and then post content on your profile and to push it out to members of a selected group. I don’t think small business owners are using this as effectively as they could, but the use is growing.
Last week Facebook added a new button option called the Send button. This button is similar to the Like button, but with a selective twist. When you click a Send button you are presented with a pop-up screen that gives you the option to select the friends you wish to send (much like a share) the content of this page to. Couple this with use of the Group function and all of a sudden you have a very useful tool for selectively sharing content on Facebook. Now the industry article is shared with Coworkers and killer black dress is shared with your sister.
With this addition Facebook users have the ability to share content privately with as little as one other friend if they like. I think this is a tool that will be adopted and added to Web pages as thoroughly as the Like button as it presents some functionality that has long been missing.
The official announcement from Facebook can be found here – The Send Button, Because Sometimes It’s Private
The good news for those that have already installed the Like code on their pages is that you can install the Send button like I have done side by side at the top of this post by simply adding the Send attribute to your existing XFBML code. (send=”true”) You can also generate new code for your specific pages by visiting the Send plugin page
If you are just getting started you should read my post on adding the Like button as it also discusses adding the Open Graph Protocol data that allows you to dictate what content, image and title is shared automatically for the page when someone clicks on your Send button.