When you see social sharing buttons on a website, the first things that come to mind are Facebook and Twitter, and then depending on the type of site, you might also see a Google+ or Pinterest sharing button. But if you don’t have a “Share as SMS” button, you might want to rethink that following the success of sports blog For the Win.
For the Win, the sports blog of USA Today and also well known by its acronym FTW, found that users weren’t really sharing their content via Twitter. So they decided to remove the Twitter button and put a SMS button instead, to allow users to send stories to others via text message. And the success was pretty incredible. They found that users were 3 to 4 times more likely to share via SMS then they shared with the Twitter button.
FTW’s editorial director Jamie Mottram revealed that they first made the switch merely as an experiment. However, as the shares went up, they decided to make the change permanent. Last May they added a WhatsApp sharing button and currently run four sharing buttons – email, SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook.
Here is how it looks on mobile with the SMS and WhatsApp sharing buttons (complete with an ad unit so large it needs a “scroll for story” message above it).
Social sharing isn’t completely out – Facebook is still their most used sharing tool, with email being in second.
For desktop users, they have decided to keep the Twitter button for social sharing, because texting from a desktop isn’t nearly as easy as on a mobile.
Here is how the same article looks on desktop:
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