by Nazia Khan-Ahmed
A while ago you there were some instances when you have faced some unusual activities while using the Facebook. Your present share buttons may have turned to zero or they may have a blank number spot. As a result of this you may have seen that the new contents of you are reporting a total of “0” shares. You should not get distressed about this issue. Following are some of the main reasons behind this particular issue for which you must have to build up some related understanding of the actual working that is related to the social plug-ins of the third party.
Know the Function of Plugins
There are different ways in which the plug-in work. There are various types of plug-in which pull their relevant data from other available sources. There are many different types of sources. These available sources can be rated as good ones or bad ones.
Bad sources are scrapers: These are the type of plug-ins. These help in loading the page by displaying all the relevant contents that a viewer wants to see. This can be performed by some simple steps. First of all, the plugins search for the specific information that is required when the user loads a page. Then they copy the required text and finally use the text for their application. In this process the server takes a long time to load fully because it works on getting the whole lot of information rather than some specific ones. The bot views are also recorded in this process. One of the major point that you must note here is that you must update these type of sites on a regular basis. It is because the site and the plug-in can result in a security issue. Different sites like the Facebook and Google can include the filtering of the user agent and the captchas for the bots. The plug-ins can also include the captcha breakers as well as the rotating proxies. This may result as an inconsistency of your data.
Many different sites like the Facebook avoid this by providing the API that is the Application Programming Interface. An API presents certain pieces of data in a plain text format that you can find easy to read and use with the help of a particular programming language. Except using the ways of loading the entire site with scripts and CSS and other similar items, it sends a small set of bytes that contain all the relevant data that you may require.
The API or the Application Programming Interface is also known as the Graph API. It specifically controls all the working of Facebook in accordance to the apps of the third party. For example, these include the insights hooks, the hard counts or the embedded counts. You can find many different versions of the Graph API. For example, the version 2.7 is the current version. Similarly, in the previous years, Facebook used the versions of 2.3, 2.4, 2.5,2.6 and now in the month of July 2017, Facebook updated it to 2.7 respectively.
There are no such restrictions that are set up but Facebook when it comes to the use of the latest versions. Different APIs work better for you even if you are using the older versions. For example, if Facebook has changed its API version to 2.5, and the version 2.4 is used by your app. Then in this way both the versions will be workable regardless of the new formatting.
The Reason for the Problem to Occur
The major problem that you may find behind all of this situation is that Facebook made its Graph API version 2.0 unavailable for its users in the year 2016. On the other hand, Facebook did not permanently close the working of the 2.0 version due to the grace period provided by them for the users. In the year 2017, this version completely stopped working. This further resulted to the permanent removal of the social share buttons which also stopped working due to the permanent closure of Graph API version 2.0.
As a result of this whole process there are many sites which stopped working and started to shut down because they were not able to find any alternate API. For example, the site like ShareCount got closed due to this purpose. Sites like HowManyShares contains the data for Google+, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn. Whereas, they have lost their data related to the Twitter and Facebook. Up till now many developers are unable to find out any other alternate way to overcome this issue.
The Footnote Twitter Posses
Twitter is one of the famous social media channel. A while ago, Twitter took the initiative to remove the share counts. Twitter API that was used for counting the tweets was not an API in reality. Rather it was an unverified JSON call that was not sanctioned officially. On the other hand, Twitter still continued the tweet counts. For this purpose, twitter sometimes managed to bring a slight change in the URL format. It was just in the previous year that Twitter decided to change their base architecture of their site.
When Twitter removed the share count, it did not bring out negative impacts as one can think of. While making some slight changes Twitter informed the users regarding the change they have made and also regarding different ways they will make use of the feedbacks in their future development that are related to the removal of the share counts. It is important to note here that Twitter removed their share counts before Facebook.
If we take a look at Facebook on the other hand, Facebook still has the official sharing button. This sharing button still includes the share count. It performs it in a simple way that first of all it gets the data from different sources which cannot be viewed by a standard user because the APIs require a token of authentication in order to get their access.
There are several reasons that led Facebook to remove the share count API data. One of the major aspect for this removal is to control the blind chase of numbers. In addition to this, Facebook also wanted to promote the value to positive sharing among the users. Due to the share count, many marketers only intended to follow the numbers in particular. On the other hand, they did not focus more on the value of the context that a post comprises. In this way there were many times that the users or marketers posted something lame and useless which the users found invaluable. In this way many people just shared the particular posts for a time pass with others. This gave a boost to the number count for many businesses and different marketers. To overcome this issue, Facebook decided to remove the share count API data.
There are many apps which supported the share count. For example, the Page Rank is one among them. Klout, Alexa are also considered as the metrics that marketers used for a blind number chase.
Most people think that removing the share count is a good initiative taken by Facebook. Although, the share option has not been permanently removed by Facebook. the users still have the choice to post the ads that may attract the audiences and then they would share them with others.
Moreover, Facebook has always supported quality posts. They do not encourage the post that are context less but have a large number of shares. There are many situations in which many users or businesses can easily purchase the required number of shares from Fiverr account and make fool out the audience claiming their post or contest to be a great one. Due to these specific reasons Facebook planned to discourage the share count and then finally removed it.
What Else You Can Do?
You have the choice to adopt certain substitute options if you find your Facebook share button not fruitful. The four ways effective ways that you can select from are mentioned below:
First Option: The first simple option that you can adopt is you must avoid the calculations or number of shares. It is because nowadays there are a numerous site that have switched to a count-free design. This is one of the encouraging ways for different users and marketers. When you select this particular option, you will find out that the sharing button will work in the same way. Apart from the sharing button, if you desire to use a numeric display that comprise of the total number of shares then in this case you can use any other relevant option. There are many similar examples of some businesses using different type of options. For example, there is a “fire” metric that is particularly used by the Business insider. This is specifically displayed at the top of every post that is made by them. Similarly, Mashable uses the velocity graph. In this way it becomes easier for them to manage and display the latest trends in relation to the rise and fall of the social sharing.
Due to this fact, you will be required to have some specific changes in the original design of your website. Moreover, it may also require you to check and select any other options that are available on your social button plug-in. You can have numerous benefits if you adopt this simple set of procedure. On the other hand, you can also search for some other available options. Using a consequent metrics that is has separate set of work can be difficult for you to use. These ways are mostly adopted by the large businesses just like the Business Insider and Mashable.
Second Option: The second option that you can choose is to utilize the official share button of Facebook. The total number of actual shares on the official Facebook share button can still be seen by the users. It is because the share button cannot be fit in with other sharing buttons due to its small size. The Facebook share button and the share button of Twitter are almost the same. These two differ in a way that on Twitter you are not able to see the total number of tweets whereas, on Facebook the total number of shares are presented.
The Facebook share button will effectively work if there are several individual sites plug-in rather than one combined social plugin. If you are using specific API calls, it will become slow as compared to the other plug-ins that is optimized.
Third Option: In the third option you will be required to find a specific plug-in or share button. These specific plug-ins or share buttons must be able to work by using a scrap technique or operate with the help of new API that is provided by Facebook. This particular plug-in is relatively hard to find. You may try to search for these options in order to get better results to compile the accurate results.
Option Four: In order to show the engagement among your audiences, you can choose the fourth option which includes the use of embedded feeds that are helpful in suggesting the ways of engagement. For example, you can make a post that is related to your blog article. You have the choice to attach that particular post in your article which you can attach at the top of the post or on the bottom. In this way many people will be attracted towards it and this will make them to click on the share button in order to share it with other people. Here, you will then be able to view all the calculation of the total number of shares that are made. Although you will find it a bit slower than some usual API, but on the other hand you will find it more effective than the sharing button that is available on Facebook.
Nonetheless, it is up to you that which of the options you may choose but it is really important that you must select at least one of the available options. It is because it will give a negative impression if a button displays 0 shares.
About the Author
Nazia Khan- Ahmed is a Social Media Writer who has majored in Textile Designing. Also Holds Bachelor’s degree in Education and English Language Certification. Finds it impossible to discuss herself in third person but is doing so as per the demands of this bio. She is a home-maker and teaches Textile Designing to degree classes at the same time. Being nocturnal has taught her to manage her work in the night and her home at day time.