I’m hoping that this is some kind of bug but today I was surprised when my Facebook share button turned into a Buffer button.
If you don’t what Buffer is:
Buffer is a service that helps you when your goal is to share content online.
I’ve been using it for a while now, and it’s quite convenient.
Sharing on Facebook with Buffer
Sharing content is at the heart of what makes the internet the internet.
I even wrote an article about using Hashtags with Buffer and Ritetag to get a bigger audience.
Yet sometimes, we can be so urgent in our efforts for attention. Desperately trying:
- to get likes
- to get more thumbs up
- to get retweeted
- to get more page visits
- to get more email addresses
- to get more clicks
- to get more customers
- to increase conversion ratios
- you name it
Whatever it is you’re trying to get online, try your best to stay ethical.
Jump to the section where I rant about sharing ethics or keep reading for the point of the article.
Buffer Chrome Add-On
Here’s a cool social media browser add-on from Buffer. It enables you to send any content straight to your choice of social media accounts.
After you install this Chrome add-on you’ll notice the buffer icon embedded all over the place.
Here’s an example, from Twitter.
Can you spot it?
How Buffer Went Wrong
While scrolling through my Facebook wall, I noticed something weird. At first everything was in it’s right place.
But then when I hovered my cursor over the share button, the unimaginable happened.
Like guests at the Mad Hatter’s dinner party, they decide to SWITCH PLACES!
I’m not 100% on why this is happening but lets look at the HTML.
Facebook Sharing HTML
Here is the HTML for the icons in the image above.
The div with class _42nr has three spans nested below it.
- Buffer and Share
That’s right, buffer shoved itself into the same span as share. Hmmm…
Might that be the source of the bug?
Buffer Share Icon HTML
So here is that last span expanded. I left the facebook span closed but the buffer span is expanded the whole way.
As you might have guessed, the same thing happens in the HTML.
Facebook and Buffer Share Placement Before Hovering
Buffer and Facebook Share Placement After Hovering
Buffer Facebook Embedded Icon Bug Giff
Just In Case
Buffer and Facebook
For the record, I’m not saying this is intentional. I was kind of playing that language but to be honest, I have no idea.
Logically speaking I’m leaning towards it being a bug since Buffer is a reputable brand and doing something like this intentionally is essentially asking for a PR nightmare and Facebook retaliation.
I plan to share this article and also notify Buffer in a couple ways so they can remedy the situation.
More On Sharing Ethics
You know… don’t do what you wouldn’t want others to do.
People have been at that game for years.
- Trying to game the Google algorithms
- Buying fake users for a startup application
- Buying fake social media account likes
- Using bots to simulate traffic
- Using link manipulate tactics
- Spamming people email accounts
- Hacking into people’s machines to infect other machines, send more spam…
- It goes on and on and it will never end
The point is that while there are systems in place, people will attempt to game them, you know.. Find loopholes.
When it comes to the point of this article, at first I thought, what a devious trick but then I remembered a clever idea.
Don’t blame something on malevolence that could be attributed to ignorance.
Sharing is Caring
Overall, I think the point is that sharing online is very much an extension to how we share in the real world.
My goal with this article is to show how things can go wrong with User Interfaces (UI) and User Interactions (UX).
Also, I can use this article to quickly show Buffer what went wrong in my UX.
Thanks for reading and please leave some comments if you saw the same thing, or if you know how to fix it, or if you have anything interesting to say.
Live long and prosper.