Oh Goodness! Social Share Buttons are Useless and Unused [Report]

Social share buttons have always been commonplace in design since the rise of social media platforms

Moovweb, a mobile experience optimization firm, went ahead and studied 61 million mobile secessions and discovered that 99.8% of mobile users never engage with social share buttons.

MoobwebShareButtonsMobileChart

Social share buttons have always been common place in design since the rise of social media platforms. Every design you find for desktop will naturally have them located at least once or twice on a page. This practice of using social share buttons have rolled over into mobile design but unfortunately it doesn’t have the same impact (and it’s taking away very limited screen real estate).

Take this into consideration:

  • Mobile accounts for 64% of referred traffic to Pinterest
  • Half a billion people visit Facebook solely through mobile
  • 61% of the time consumers spend on social media is on mobile

So why does the social share button not “work” with mobile?

The decline can already be seen with the drop in desktop clicks to these buttons; Moovweb found that 35% of the people were less likely to tap on a sharing button when access via mobile vs desktop.

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The real issue that has been proposed is not the share buttons but how we develop and use apps.

The heart of the sharing problem is that users must be logged in in order to share. If you’re not logged in, sharing can be kind of a nightmare.

For starters you have to thumb type your username and password. If you’ve been saving your password in-app or in-browser, you might have forgotten it. Resetting a lost password is a huge hassle on mobile.

So it’s not surprising that mobile users are nearly 12 times more likely to click on an advertisement then they are on a social sharing button.

What’s the verdict on this issue? Do social share buttons need to be removed from within apps or should mobile design replicate the ease of using an app to keep them in? All we know, for now, is that they aren’t worth the trouble (and that screen real estate could go to something better… even an ad).

Image by Edar

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