Upgraded Recommended Content Drawer Based on Your Feedback

addthis-upgraded-content-drawer

Today we released an upgraded Recommended Content Drawer based on feedback from our Pro subscribers. See it in action by mousing over the arrow you see here to the right, and it’ll reveal articles with big bold images in the background. Nice right?

These personalized content recommendations use social data from across the Web to show the best possible content to every visitor to our blog––and it’ll do the same for your site.

Issues We Addressed

As with everything we do, we research and test before making upgrades to our tools. In the case of the Content Drawer, there were a few issues we wanted to solve. One was that the original content drawer showed too many articles for someone to easily scan. So to help with the scanning, we wanted to show more eye-catching photos to encourage more visitors to click on the content they see recommended to them.

We also noticed the original arrow button that opened the Content Drawer was hard to see on some website designs. So with this new update, we improved those things.

Upgrades to the Content Drawer

The first thing you’ll notice is the new button that launches the Recommended Content Drawer to open. The button now has themes that will help it stand out more on your website. We took some inspiration from other tools that prompt readers to go to the next article on a website, but then we added the benefit of our recommended content algorithm.

And as I mentioned, the new Content Drawer now has big bold images. They’re a little wider in aspect ratio than we’ve used previously in order to closely match the style of major social networks, like the Facebook Newsfeed. That way if you’re optimizing your content for sharing (i.e. using open graph tags), it’ll also look great in the Content Drawer! Also, by making the drawer hold bigger images, there are a few less recommendations displaying which makes it way easier for visitors to scan through the articles.

Thumbnails in Recommended Content Widgets

All of our recommended content widgets use Open Graph tags to pick out the thumbnail image that’s shown when a page is shared to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

addthis-facebook-share-og-tags

To make the recommended content look great across social networks your visitors share to, and even in your content widgets, make sure your primary image for each page is at least 320 pixels wide. Our tools will then automatically stretch and (slightly) gray out the image within the content drawer so the article title is clearly visible to your visitors when they scroll.

So, What’s Next?

Your feedback fuels our project timeline, so let us know what you think of the Content Drawer’s upgrade in the comment section below. This is the first widget where we’ve used big images and overlayed the titles, so we want to know whether or not you want more widgets like this!

  • http://ShutterMuse.com DanCarr

    This is great Dave. If it’s pulling from the og:image tag are the images the same aspect as the recommended Facebook image size of 1200×627? Look forward to re-investigating this tool now with this improvement.

  • Dave

    Hi Dan, It’s really close to the 1.91 aspect ratio for Facebook. We’re actually using 1.85 so that it’s a little more universal, but let us know if it creates cropping issues on your site.

  • http://ShutterMuse.com DanCarr

    Wow yeah I just tried it. This is fantastic and that small aspect difference doesn’t matter. Well done guys! I’d love to see that same styling as an option for the Vertical Recommended Content tool (or a Pro version of that tool) so that you could permanently add it to a sidebar if you
    wanted to instead of having it in the “drawer” style.

  • dave

    Great feedback. We might start with updating tools to have a more similar aspect ratio and then maybe some more tools with the overlayed titles or other cool styles.

  • http://www.hijos-del-atomo.com/ Christian Orellana

    It looks great! However, the titles in my site are too long and they are all cut short in the drawer. Any chance to use two lines for titles?

    Good job guys!

  • Dave

    Hi Christian,
    There should be two lines worth of title, but it could be that we’re pulling in one of your header styles. It might be worth a quick email to support to check out the styling.