Over the past year, we've become accustomed to using Facebook's "Like" button for a variety of reasons - to show approval, to agree with a sentiment, to follow a brand and to share content. For this last function, however, the Like button can be a bit of a blunt tool when what's really needed is a precision instrument.
Today, Facebook announced the "Send" button. By using Send, Facebook users will be able to share content with specific groups of friends, rather than everyone on their friends list, giving them the precision sharing tool they've needed all along.
The Facebook Send button launches today with 50 partner sites and will likely be implemented by more site quickly. Most often, it will likely accompany the Like button and allows users to share content with their friends by email, Facebook message or as a post to a Group's wall.
A year ago, we launched the Like button, which gives you a quick way to share the things you find on the web with all your friends. But there are times when you find something that you only want to share with a few specific people.
Say you're on Orbitz and want to tell your roommates about a great idea for a summer vacation, or you come across a Huffington Post article that you only want to share with people at work. With the new Send button, now you can share things with any of your Groups or individual friends on Facebook.
As noted, Facebook's Like button just celebrated its first birthday last week. In the last year, the button has been integrated on more than 2.5 million websites, with 10,000 new websites adding the button daily. Will the Share button, which is integrated similarly with a few lines of code, share in the Like button's popularity?
Facebook says that Groups, which launched just six months ago, now number well over 50 million. The ability to direct your content sharing on Facebook from third-party sites could certainly boost the popularity of Groups and catapult the popularity of a Send button, despite the simple, no-hassle, easy-to-understand functionality of the Like button.