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  • Facebook Send Button – New Way to Invite Friends & Share

    Send Button FacebookFacebook’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

    1. 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.

      Send Button

      <div id="fb-root"></div>
      <script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>
      <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.

    2. 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:

      <div id="fb-root"></div>
      <script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>
      <fb:like href="hyperarts.com/blog" show_faces="true" width="450" send="true"></fb:like>

      Like Button plus Send Button

      (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:

    Facebook Send Button Dialog

    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!

    Further Reading

    Comments

    1. Thanks for yet another excellent post. I plan on incorporating this into my “next gen” templates for insurance agents. Live Long and Prosper Tim.

    2. I have seen the option of the “like” and “send” button before but never knew how to add the code. With Facebook changing so much it’s somewhat hard to keep up with all of the techie stuff. Thanks for this post and I also liked your post on Iframes as well.

    3. All I have to say is not another button! But really, it’s a good idea – there are posts I have come across that I would rather send to a select few people and not plaster on my wall. Thanks for the guide!

      • Ah but, Kristi, this is A Very Good Button! 🙂

        I know you really love it. And you’re so welcome. See you down the road….

      • I couldn’t agree more. If I put everything I liked on my wall, no one would read it as there would be too much on there. It defeats the purpose I guess. This button is a great idea I reckon. 🙂

    4. A great idea! I guess this is one more way towards their effort to make email obselete (which I don’t think will happen) but in that general direction.

    5. Any idea why I can’t get the “Like Button” generator to work for my fan page? If I check the “Send Button” box, the preview to the right is always empty, regardless of any other settings. As soon as I uncheck “Send Button”, the standard “Like” button preview that I’m used to shows up for my fan page. Note that if I enter somebody else’s fan page URL (like http://www.facebook.com/hyperarts), it works fine, showing both a “Like” and a “Send” button for that page… it just doesn’t work for mine. What am I missing?

      • You’re talking about doing this on the Social Plugin Like page. I can only guess that you’re entering an incorrect URL for your fan page. I know it works fine for me. Perhaps a Facebook bug?

        • Thanks for the reply Tim. Yes, that is the “Like Button” page I was referring to. I hope it’s a bug and that Facebook is working on fixing it, as the page URL I’m pasting is definitely correct. As a further point of reference and indication of a problem, if I try to generate a stand-alone “Send” button for the same fan page on the Social Plugin Send Button page, the preview of the Send button shows up to the right, but when it is clicked, it displays the message “The page at http://www.facebook.com/PAGENAME could not be reached.” Which is bogus, because I can copy-and-paste the URL displayed in the error message and it works just fine!

          • Wha page are you trying to input? The URL?

            • I’m having the same issue.  Like button works fine, but send button craps out.  If I use facebook.com/PAGENAME I get a “the server returned error 200” (which isn’t really even an error…)

              If I use facebook.com/profile.php?id=xxmy-page-idxxx

              I get the same error as Eddy above: page could not be found.

              Send button sucks butt.

    6. This reminds me that I need to go back to my old websites that are still getting traffic and update the buttons to add this one in there and get rid of the depreciated code.

    7. Thanks for the step-by-step of setting up the like buttons. I agree with Scott it’s a bit of effort to keep up with all the facebook changes. I haven’t done much with it yet, so hopefully things will solidify now and the updates I implement from this post will work for a while!

    8. I’m aware of the Like+Send button but didn’t know how to do it until I have read this post. The Like + Send button are very helpful and makes sending message a lot easier to do. This reminds me to keep up with my Facebook fanpage. Thanks for sharing Tim!

    9. Hi and thanks for your article! I have just put the fb combined Like and Send buttons on my new website and the links work but…. when the Send button takes you to my FB page, there is a small dark grey box instead of the Profile picture which looks terrible. I have deleted and replaced the buttons several times to no avail. Any suggestions?
      Thanks!

    10. hi!!
      first of all your blog is fantastic!!! is my fisrt time making a fan page and its helping me so much…

      abouts the send and like buttom, it work well on ff and chrome but it does not apear on ie….. do you know how to fix it???

      thanks vry much

    11. I’m using the Like and Send buttons now, but had a couple of questions. Do you know how to change the content that appears when the person sends the message to another person? My content seems to be stuck on the home page and I can’t change it. I also don’t want it to send the information in the description meta tag because each page is different and I want the information about the current page to be placed in the content. Is there a way to do this using php? One more question: Is there anyway to change the url being sent so the current url is sent and not the meta tag url? I wanted to get rid of the meta tag and fb said I shouldn’t. Any thoughts? Thanks.

    12. Did you go through the troubleshooting for this article?

      Make sure you grab the latest code from Facebook’s Plugin Page. And make sure you use the XFBML version of the code.
      Let me know exactly what you’re doing and, if you figure out what you were doing wrong, post it here!

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