bits from justmarkup

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Share buttons

Recently, various people are looking again into ways to make a 'Share to Mastodon' button, which turns out to be difficult in terms of user experience.

As there is no single share domain like you have with closed social media sites, the share button needs to ask the user for their instance name in order to create a share link.

This made my think. Do we really need to include share buttons on all our sites? I say no, and therefore removed the share button from my site.

The browsers should offer a built-in share button. We already have the Web Share API, and Mastodon (at least the instance already registered itself as a Web Share API.

So, if I add this page as a PWA on Android, I can use the native share functionality to share to this page. I hope browsers will offer this also on desktop browsers.

For example, Chromium already has a share button in their browser, they can add a 'add site' feature, where I can enter a URL. The browser would check if 'share_target' is defined in the web manifest, and add this page to the share options.

This way I would only need to add Mastodon once there and can easily share every page I visit to Mastodon. Make it happen, browser makers.

The other benefit of removing share buttons from individual sites, would be fewer bytes to serve to users. I assume the majority of users never use these individual share buttons anyway, still all have to download the bytes needed to show these buttons. Even if it's just a simple URL, if there are billions of requests, this also sums up, not to speaking about all the bloated share button JavaScript pages have integrated.

Also posted on: Mastodon