What’s the news story that all my friends are talking about? Boston.com is now testing out a new ‘social sharing’ toolbar that will let you see what stories your Facebook friends are reading on Boston.com and in turn share what you are reading with them.
Only a small portion of our users will be randomly-selected to try this feature at first — and you’ll need to choose to use it. If you want to try it out, you can go to this page and turn on social sharing. Once you’re participating, you can invite your friends to share as well.
We hope this will be fun — knowing what your friends are reading, and discussing it with them (you can use a special comment box at the bottom of articles to do that).
After you opt-in, social sharing will share stories you read, photo galleries you view, and videos you watch on Boston.com with your Facebook friends, on Facebook and on Boston.com. (Not all pages on Boston.com are enabled for this feature yet).
You can turn sharing off for individual stories, or entirely, and we’ll always pop-up a little notification to remind you. Facebook will NOT show every single article you read to your friends, so you won’t be spamming them. Even if your friends choose not to turn on social sharing, they’ll still be able to the read the stories on boston.com.
Why are we doing this?
There was a time when your whole social circle might read the same printed newspaper each morning and watched Walter Cronkite each evening. Social sharing may recapture a bit of that shared media diet by letting you read the same articles your friends have read. That could make it easy to turn reading the news on Boston.com into an experience where you connect with your friends.
Still have questions? Read the FAQ. And let us know what you think.
Joel Abrams, Senior Product Manager, Boston.com