Site Update: How to Use the new Tweet, Like, +1, and Share Buttons
As you may have noticed, there are now four buttons appearing at the end of each post:
You may have wondered why they were there, and what happens when you click them. Here is what happens:
1. Tweet (Twitter)
If you have a Twitter account, and you’re logged into it, clicking the “Tweet” button will open a window that looks something like this:
If you think the story is interesting enough that your followers on Twitter would enjoy reading it, you can post a Twitter update from that window. The link to the article is automatically there, as is the post title. But since the post title is what you’re most likely to want to change, it is automatically highlighted. So if you just start typing something else, that will automatically replace the post title.
Either way, once you click the “Tweet” button in the lower right-hand corner, the status update goes out to your friends.
2. Like (Facebook)
Unlike #1, the Facebook Like button doesn’t automatically post a status update. (See #4 for that!) This one is actually used in several different places around the Internet as a vote of support, indicating you liked a page. One of the most prominent examples is Bing/Yahoo search results:
All you do is click the like button, and the vote is registered.
3. +1 (Google)
This one has a fairly similar functionality to #2, except that here it impacts Google’s search results. If you +1 a story, and someone searches for that story on Google, the search results will display a +1, indicating that someone thought the story was worth sharing. Here are two search results in Google, one +1ed and the other not:
Just like #2, all you have to do with this one is to click it. Once you’ve clicked it, when people search for that story, it will show someone looking through search results that one or more people thought the page was worth reading.
4. Share (Facebook)
This one functions just like #1. If you have and are logged into a Facebook account, clicking the link brings up a window that looks something like this:
In the box highlighted by the red arrow, you can offer your thoughts on the story. Clicking the blue “Share Link” button in the lower right-hand corner shares the link with your Facebook friends.
Hopefully this post helps you understand what these and similar buttons do—not only here, but around the Internet as well. Whenever you find one of our news or commentary stories to be particularly interesting or newsworthy, we’d love it if you would pass it along to your friends (#1 and #4) or like/+1 it so that people on search engines know it’s valuable (#2 and #3). Thank you as always for coming back to read, for commenting here, and for passing these stories along to your friends!