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What Is Smart Sorting by AddThis and How Does It Work?

Have you ever wondered how we select the sharing services that appear on your pages? Have you ever wondered why we recommend using Smart Sorting by AddThis over manually specifying your own list of services? This post seeks to shed some light on these topics.

How Smart Sorting by AddThis Works

To get started, there are two basic approaches to specifying services:

  1. Manually
  2. OR using Smart Sorting by AddThis

You most likely have a set of social networks you use daily, and so do your friends and family, but what about people you don’t even know? Choosing one set of services might work well for your use case but that may not be the best way to get maximum shares of your content across various networks and people. This is why we provide Smart Sorting, so you don’t have to worry about the complexity of managing individual sharing preferences.

Smart Sorting works by detecting which services your user has interacted with most recently and most frequently and then lists those services in the correct order sorted by user-popularity.

Additionally, when a user has not interacted with many services, a default set of services grouped by country is provided either to fill in the blank spots or the entire set of services. For example, Facebook isn’t big in China but Weibo is, so users in China would rather see Weibo in their services list. Different regions of the world have different sets of popular services which we consider for populating the tools on your page dynamically with. This can have a dramatic effect on usage and clicks to your site.

You can also exclude specific services from pages individually by using the AddThis Config JS Object. More information is available in our AddThis Academy.

Of course, we do also offer the ability to manually select which services appear in the sharing menu on your site. Here is how to manually configure specific sharing services:

First go to the AddThis.com dashboard to add sharing tools to your website:

1. You can select your own services by first selecting a tool type (such as “Floating” or “Inline”).

2. After selecting “Continue”, you should see a “Social Networks” section with radio buttons with labels reading “Automatic” and “Select Your Own”.

3. If you choose “Select Your Own”, you are presented with an ordered list of services which you can reorder by clicking and dragging. You can also choose to “Add More Services” which will allow you to search and select services from our full set of available services. Note that some specific sharing tools such as Image Sharing or Follow Tools have a shorter list than the normal Sharing Tools.

If you are creating AddThis Toolbox tools with HTML you can also manually specify services using special classes which affect how your toolbox tools get initialized.

Manually selecting services is pretty obvious, you choose services and those services show up on your page. This is OK for some sites but for international and other large sites, manual specification is not regarded as being as powerful as our Smart Sorting feature.

If you have any questions regarding Smart Sorting or setting up your manual preferences, please do not hesitate to visit our support. They are always ready to help!

Last modified:  April 1st, 2019