Facebook’s new Social Plugin Send Button, like all the Social Plugins, can be used on both external websites and Fan Page iFrame tabs.
In this article, I focus on using the new Send Button and the “enhanced” Like Button (that can now include a Send Button) on iFrame tabs.
Since the demise of the “Suggest to Friends” link (it’s still shown in the Page right column, but it doesn’t work!) and the popular “Multi-friend Invite” FBML tag (fb:multi-friend-selector), Facebook Page admins have had no reliable way to add a button to facilitate users notifying their friends of a Page or tab whose content they wish to share.
Facebook Announces the New Send Button Social Plugin
Facebook has, however, come through big time with the new Send Button Social Plugin, which they announced today on the Developer Blog.
Two Versions of the Send Button: Standalone or with the Like Button
- The standalone Send Button:
The standalone version allows users to share with specified Facebook friends, Groups or others via email content on Fan Pages and websites.
As Mashable reported this morning, “Send counts toward the total number of Likes a page has. The Like total is now calculated by adding the number of Likes, shares, comments and inbox messages containing a URL.”
<fb:send href="URL- OF-PAGE-TAB-OR-ARTICLE" ref="TestPage"></fb:send>
The “ref” (referrer) parameter allows Page admins to add a value that can be tracked in Facebook Insights. Read more about this in the Facebook documentation.
- The Like Button + Send Button:
You can have the Send Button display next to the Like Button by simply adding send=”true” to your existing fb:like tag:
<fb:like href="hyperarts.com/blog" show_faces="true" width="450" send="true"></fb:like>
(When setting the “href” value, omit the “http://.www.” part, as Facebook fills that in.)
Read more about the enhanced Like Button in the Facebook documentation.
How the Send Button Works
Page admins add the Send Button to their iFrame tab, specifying the URL of the object they wish the Send Button to send info about (the “href” parameter value).
Users click the Send Button which pops up a dialog box where they can enter a Facebook friend’s name (and a dropdown list with friends’ pictures is displayed as they type), a Facebook Group name, or simply an email address. They then type their message and click Send:
Some Limitations of the Send Button
The Send Button is obviously a huge plus and undoubtedly there are other cool Social Plugins coming down the pike but there are a few limitations:
- The Send Button ONLY works with XFBML version of the Like Button; it DOESN’T WORK with the iFrame version of the Like Button, per Facebook’s announcement;
- You can link to other websites and Fan Pages but you can’t link to a specific tab on a Fan Page;
- If you enter an email address for the message recipient, you can’t specify the subject line for the email it will say “A Conversation with [User Name]”;
- You can’t use the Send Button if you’re using Facebook as a Page instead of a Personal Profile.
The Send Button is a great enhancement for brands, facilitating more targeted sharing of content, within and outside of Facebook.
With the Like button, a user’s Like might result in your content showing up in their friends’ news feeds. With the Send Button users can now share your content directly with their Facebook friends, Groups and others. This is great news for brands!
Let me know what you think in the comments.
And hey! feel free to use the Send Button we’ve added to the HyperArts Blog!