With the April 25th roll-out of updated Group features, the largest was that of the Send button, which now allows you to share content from across the web with specific groups of people. The Send social object is an evolution in sharing and the social web in that it’s extremely flexible. In the past, you could email an article to one or two individuals’ email addresses; then with the advent of Web 2.0, you could share content across entire networks. You could blast the product that you were checking out to your entire Twitter network, Digg an article, or post news to your Facebook feed for all of your friends to see. The Like object then allowed us to keep better track of what was being shared and what people were interested in; the Levi’s Friend Store always comes to mind as the Like button trailblazer.
The Send button represents the natural progression of sharing on the web. First to individuals; then to entire networks; and now selective clusters or pods. With the new Send button, users can send the content to individual Facebook friends, individual email addresses, and their Facebook Groups, making it extremely versatile, and therefore, highly adoptable. How are early-adopter brands utilizing the Send button on-site already?
We’ve seen the Send button blossom onto the 1-800 Flowers product pages this week. 1-800 Flowers is regularly on the forefront of the social web, allowing for fcommerce purchases directly in the Facebook experience (although it seems that experience has been removed since), offering Facebook Connect utility (so you remember to send your mom flowers on her birthday), adding Like buttons to the site, and now integrating the Send button.
On Orbitz, we can Send individual Deals to friends and Groups on Facebook to let them know about an upcoming trip that the group may want to take together. Travel is a natural group activity, and Orbitz Deals are probably the most compelling and viral elements on the site, so it makes sense that we would want to make the social spread as frictionless as possible.
Also an early-adopter, American Eagle has integrated the Send button into their product views, while 99% of retailers have yet to do so. It seems that many online retailers have been struggling to leverage the social aspects of the shopping experience, and the Send social object is a chance to jump in head-first. A single button isn’t a magic bullet to transform a static brand site into a social experience, but it certainly is one element in a larger strategy of both empowering user-to-user sharing and user-to-brand socialization.
What does the Send process look like? From the above screen from the American Eagle product page, we have the opportunity to enter friends’ names, friends’ email addresses, or Group names, and enter a custom message. After we click Send, my friends would see either this in their email inbox…
or this in Facebook Groups…
Lastly, for the quick and dirty on how to integrate the Send button into your website, check out this great walkthrough from the Facebook Developer Blog.
Have you seen other brands incorporating the Send button into their brand or ecommerce websites? Share them in the comments!