My favorite feature of the AddThis browser extensions for Firefox and Internet Explorer is that it’s easy to customize my browser menu with my favorite services. Did you know you can Translate any page on the fly? Make printing easier by removing all of the navigation and other page elements, leaving just the content, with one click? Quickly share a link using your computer’s email application, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and other email services? These and other services save me time and make sharing easy.
Sometimes we get asked why anyone would need over 230 AddThis services – why so many? The answer is, AddThis is used by hundreds of millions of people all over the world, and there are lots of different ways to interact with a webpage. Some services are more popular than others in different countries, and everyone has their own favorite ways to share. We created the AddThis Service Directory so anyone could submit their service; the AddThis menu then optimizes and personalizes the list to show the right services to the right person at the right time.
To demonstrate, here is a list of my favorite services that I’ve selected to be in my Firefox AddThis menu, using the Options… feature to create and order my list:
I can add any service from the complete list on the left, and change the order of my selected list using the arrows on the far right.
Here’s a little more information about my favorite services; clicking one will share this page so you can see how each works.
- Email Program: This service allows me to share any link to my computer’s default email application, opening a new message with the link already in the message body. No more copy-pasting links.
- Blogger: Share any link to one of my Blogger blogs. Blogger’s compose window let’s me pick which blog to share to, where I can save the post for later or go ahead and publish. Easy.
- Twitter: This lets me tweet any link; AddThis will automatically shorten links only if needed.
- Facebook: I post a lot of design-related links to Facebook, our most sharing popular service.
- Translate: Handy if you encounter a lot of pages in other languages. This service uses Google Translate to instantly determine the language and translate the page. You can even continue to browse the site in your own language thanks to Google’s use of frames.
- PDF Online: Quickly save any page as a PDF.
- Google Reader: Post and tag a link to your Google Reader shared items.
- PrintFriendly: Strip out navigation, ads, images and any other page elements you like to print only the content of a page. Quick and easy reading as well as printing.
- Print: I can use control-P, or use my browser’s menu, or some other way to Print. But hey, I’m using this menu all the time, so it’s convenient.
There are lots of other services and utilities to discover – what are your favorites? As always, we love feedback, so let us know how we can make AddThis even better.
Jim Lane, Director of User Experience for AddThis
A quick post-script: You might have noticed that Email Program is not yet available in the current version of the Firefox extension. You can get this service by installing the latest experimental version of the AddThis for Firefox addon on Mozilla. Just visit that page on Mozilla.com and scroll down and select “Get the Newest Version Now”. You heard it here first!