Category Archives: What’s New

Learning about cognitive science at the NoVA UX meetup

For our February NoVA UX meetup, John Whalen (PhD Cognitive Science Johns Hopkins and Founder, Brilliant Experience consultancy) shared his insights and experience about cognitive science with the group. Using videos and interactive examples, he shared learnings about how we perceive, remember, and make decisions, and how those concepts can be applied to user experience design. Continue reading

Introducing Individual Share Counts

Today, we’re happy to offer new buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Delicious, VK, Linkedin, and Odnoklassniki, with individual share counts.

These new surfaces demonstrate the popularity of your content on the top social networks.  We retrieve share counts directly from each service’s API; data is cached and loaded asynchronously for optimal page load performance. Continue reading

Introducing Social Sign In for WordPress

A while back, we launched Social Sign In in AddThis Labs, to make it easy to allow your users to sign in using their existing Google, Twitter or Facebook accounts. Data shows that significantly more people will register and sign in to your site if they don’t have to create and manage a new account. You’ll still need your own user system to integrate Social Sign In, however; if you don’t already have one, that can be a daunting project.

We’re now making it even easier, for WordPress users. Since every WordPress blog already has a standard user system for managing authors and commenters, we’ve created a new WordPress plugin that integrates Social Sign In automatically.

WordPress login screen
That means you can add Facebook, Google and Twitter-based authentication to your WordPress blog with a single click. Our plugin just adds social authentication to the existing WordPress registration and sign in screens, so the flow doesn’t change for your users–you can use Social Sign In for registering commenters and submitters alike.

Manage multiple WordPress blogs? Connect them all with a single account. If your blogs have many readers, we’ll prefill their profiles with information gleaned when they authenticate with one of our supported services, making registration simpler, faster and more complete.

Best of all, it’s free, and the data is yours! All registered user data remains in your WordPress database. And we use your Facebook, Google, and Twitter application IDs so you’re not tied to our platform. (Don’t have application IDs? They’re free and easy to obtain–the plugin will walk you through the process. They’re important because they let each service know that authentication requests for your domain are authorized by you.)

To get started:

  1. Open up your WordPress dashboard
  2. Select Plugins > Add New
  3. Install “AddThis Social Sign In”
  4. Activate the plugin
  5. Select Settings > AddThis SSI
  6. Follow the instructions for adding your Facebook, Google and Twitter application IDs
  7. Log out, and log back in with just one click!

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think!

Our New Sharing Experience: Internationalized

While AddThis is a US-based company, we are very aware that the internet is an international experience. (“World wide web” anyone?) That is why internationalization and the support of multiple languages is so important to us!

Recently we updated more of our social tools to support the many beautiful languages of the world so publishers everywhere can present their users with their preferred method of speaking. Specifically, our brand new sharing experience has been fully upgraded to incorporate all our supported languages. This includes the new email sharing form, end user authentication and the sharing menu itself.

As before, site owners can set their AddThis sharing menu and related functionalities to a specific language OR allow us to automatically detect the user’s browser language settings and customize the experience to match. We also will reorder share services based on popularity within different regions. This behavior is tested to increase sharing rates.

Finally, we’ve also updated our language submission forms, so please help us translate more languages. We want to make sure that everyone can share and do so with ease!

If you have any questions or comments about AddThis internationalization, please feel free to reach out or post in the comments below.

Shopify and Magento can now take advantage of our latest sharing tools

So you have an ecommerce site and you want to take advantage of our latest release and exciting redesign of the AddThis sharing experience? You’re in luck! Our Shopify and Magento plugins have been updated and are ready for download.

All you need to do is head on over either the Shopify or Magento AddThis plugin page to update or download the latest version for your site.

In case you missed the updates, here is a preview of the streamlined menu, also displaying our new end user authentication for easy, one-click sharing. Our tests of the new menu in action have shown an 11% increase in sharing!

New Sharing Menu

We’ve also refreshed our email sharing form, optimizing one of the most important avenues for sharing on an ecommerce site. Check it out:

If you aren’t already leveraging the AddThis platform and insights on your ecommerce site, here are some stats to give you a little nudge:

  • Sharing on Shopify via Twitter is 23% higher than average across our platform
  • Shopify users love their Macs, as sharing via a mac is 4x higher on Shopify than average across our platform
  • Magento users are 46% more likely to share via their iPads
  • Magento users are 57% more likely to share to Facebook than average across our platform

If you have any questions or feedback about our ecommerce plugins, please let us know.

Introducing Our Newest Sharing Experience

We’re happy to announce major updates to the AddThis sharing tool suite: the new design we’ve been testing in AddThis Labs graduates today, with a slew of new features. Go grab the new code!

We’ve written before about the mind-boggling amount of data every day, and how we use it to provide insights both to our publishers and into trends across our network. But we also use data to drive and refine our own processes and designs. Today, we’ve used what we’ve learned to make sharing even easier, and more personal. That means more engagement from your visitors, more sharing, and more traffic for your site.

Simpler design.

First, we have a new look. We’ve streamlined and simplified the compact menu. We’ve made our email form a lot easier to use, like the email clients you’re already familiar with. Our expanded menu’s been optimized for faster sharing to the most popular services in your region, and easier searching for your personal favorites. (As always, we’ll highlight the services you use for even easier sharing next time.) We’ll take advantage of jQuery on pages that already include it for simple but lovely transitions. And while our new platform takes advantage of HTML5 and loads of modern browser features, we won’t leave you out in the cold if you’re stuck on IE6–though, seriously guys, it’s time.

In Labs, the updated design increased sharing by 11%. In production, it’s going to do even better–due to our second major update.

Instant sharing.

Sharing to Facebook or Twitter used to mean popping a new window. That’s fast, but we figured if we made it even faster, more people would be sharing your content. To that end, we’re introducing “instant” inline sharing to the most popular social networks. If your users link their social accounts with AddThis, they’ll be able to share directly to Facebook or Twitter without even leaving your page. The new inline interface means there’s no extra page load–that means more unimpeded sharing. Even better, once a user authenticates, they’ll remain logged in on every single site with AddThis, until they log out. Everybody wins.

Adding social sign in to our sharing tools doesn’t just mean it’s easier to share. It also means it’s a lot easier to personalize your AddThis experience–easily choose the services you want to see once, and you’ll see them across all the sites that use AddThis.

Pain-free pinning.

Our recent updates for Pinterest are fully integrated with the new design. We’ve created the simplest and easiest way to integrate with Pinterest: almost no work necessary! Put AddThis on any page you want to make pinnable, and we’ll show a simple, elegant lightbox to showcase all the images on your page for your users to pick from. You can always specify your own image, too, if you want! We’ve found this feature can boost sharing to Pinterest by 20% or more.

You can add all these capabilities to your site with one simple code snippet. Take a look and try it out!

Our plugins for WordPress, Magento, and Shopify will be updated this week to support the new surfaces.

Questions? Comments? As always, we’d love your feedback.

Introducing Social Sign In

We’re stoked to announce the newest addition to AddThis Labs:
Social Sign In.

You’ve probably noticed that many websites now allow you to register or sign in using one of your existing social network accounts, like your Facebook username or your Twitter ID. It’s not just a startup fad; in fact, there’s solid science behind it. Blue Research studied the holiday shopping habits of US consumers and noticed that the vast majority of us are annoyed by having to create a new account to use a site, and would generally rather use one of our existing social network accounts.

If you’ve ever had to register on an obscure website just to buy one perfect gift, you probably know exactly how this feels! Even outside of retail applications, users are much more likely to register for and engage with your site if the process is bootstrapped with their existing online identity–some research has shown users authenticating socially spend up to 50% more time on site than the rest.

Seeing the value of social authentication is easy. Building it, though, hasn’t been. Most existing social authentication solutions have either required a lot of complicated server-side programming; mastering the ins and outs of OpenID, OAuth, and other specifications; or paying for a hosted solution and thus giving up control over your users’ data, not to mention some of your budget!

Our approach is simpler. And it might be the right one for you.

Example of Google, Twitter and Facebook sign in buttons
Use their standard buttons, or design your own.

Social Sign In by AddThis is a straightforward JavaScript library that makes it easy to strengthen your relationship to your users by adding Facebook, Twitter or Google authentication to your site.You provide the application keys for each service you’d like to integrate. We take care of rendering the buttons and managing the authentication flow. When a user successfully authenticates, we provide the data directly to you, via JavaScript.

Some of the social data you’d get,
if I logged into your site using Social Sign In.

From then on, it’s your show, whether you want to pre-fill a registration form, directly create a new account, or store the data for later analysis. Our goal is just to make it easy to bring your users’ social data to your site, whether for registration, authentication, or personalization. You can try it out live on our Labs page.

Want to offer as many services as possible? No problem. Regardless of the network used, the data comes back in the same format — so you only have to write code once.

Like all our tools, you’ll get data in our analytics dashboard, too. We’re starting by keeping track of what networks your users are logging in with, but we’d love your thoughts on other information that might be relevant.

To make integration even easier, we’ve open sourced a fully functional demo in JavaScript, PHP and MySQL, with a simple user registration system based on Social Sign In. If you’ve always wanted a user system, feel free to start with ours! Or you can use our code as a basis for integrating Social Sign In into your existing registration and authentication system.

Questions? Comments? We’d love your feedback!