Netvibes, one of the many personalized homepage products available today, has just announced a new feature which allows users to share anything from their Netvibes pages – not just tabs, but also articles, widgets, and RSS feeds. This new feature allows those items to be shared via integration with two of the most popular social networks: Twitter and Facebook, the latter being powered by Facebook Connect. What’s not to love? As it turns out, based on the comments found on the Netvibes blog, users are not happy about this change.
If you want to publish an article, widget, or a tab to your public profiles on either Twitter or Facebook as well as on Netvibes’ own Activities section, that’s now easy to do thanks to the new “Share” link found on both widgets and tabs.
The first time you use this feature, you have to authenticate with each of the social networks. Once configured, links are published to your Facebook News Feed and to your Twitter stream. (Note: Facebook Connect only works on Firefox at present). An option to email items instead is also provided.
The individual articles found in RSS feeds also have a sharing option which is activated by clicking on a yellow star next to the word “share.” This feature lets you save articles with an optional note for later reading . The saved articles are placed in your private activities section.
It is this last feature that has Netvibes’ users up in arms. Because the star and link reside on a separate line beneath the article headline and introductory text, it takes up valuable screen real estate which impacts the number of entries which can be displayed on a page. Out of 26 some comments (at time of writing) on the Netvibes blog, a surprising majority of them (25) were against the yellow star for this very reason. Everyone was requesting that this feature be optional, so they could shut it off.
Although 25 people aren’t the entire Netvibes user base, they are a good representative of the most enthusiastic of Netvibes users – the ones who take the time to read and respond to the company blog entries. In this case, we think they may have a point. Hopefully Netvibes will take this into consideration and make some tweaks.
However, the user outrage issue shouldn’t overshadow the big news of the day: a Facebook Connect sighting in the wild! We just love those. After Netvibes fixes the above issue, the new sharing features are likely to become popular ways to make the entire Netvibes experience more social and fun.