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Why did I Stop Using SharedBy Toolbar?

Sharedby – previously known as Visibly is a Social Media Marketing and Analytics platform that helps you optimize your social media engagement.  This is an excellent social media tool allowing you to show your brand and content above each page you link. The reason I am not using SharedBy.co anymore, is not because they changed the name or the tool bar is not engaging. Before I get into that, lets see what is Sharedby and how it works.

 

How Does SharedBy Toolbar Work?

 

SharedBy

Forced Engagement

Registration is easy.  You can choose: Twitter, Facebook or unique SharedBy registration form to register. After successful registration, you are required to setup your social settings.  This is to be done in three steps.

 

  1. Connect your Twitter accounts – (as a Free users you are entitled to use only one account)
  2. Auto-Convert your links – (Turn this OFF if you don’t want Sharedby automatically replace your links with trackable ones. Real-time analytics and Engagement Bar are only available if this setting is ON)
  3. Add the Engagement Bar to your links – (Yes, No options)

 

Engagement bar is actually the main Sharedby feature that needs to be setup correctly. If you set Auto-Convert option ON, all your Twitter links will be automatically replaced with new ones that will include Engagement bar on top of them. As most of the Social Media tools, this one is also offering Bookmarklet for easy link sharing.

 

Engagement bar can be customized in many ways. You will find a separate page for customizing your toolbar with various social media and other unique plugins.  What are the benefits of using this toolbar? I will mention few of them:

 

  • With each shared link, you can promote your products or services.
  • Toolbar helps you retain more than 12% of your readers (Sharedby claim).
  • Toolbar will drive traffic and may increase sales.
  • All your converted links will be tracked by Sharedby Analytics
  • Self-promotion benefits

 

Analytic and Influencer (Premium) Services from SharedBy

 

Another advantage you get by using Sharedby links is that all of them are tracked by Sharedby Analytics. By visiting analytics page,  you are clearly presented how many people clicked on your links, number of Retweets, visitor’s geolocation, etc.

 

However, not everything on this site is free. Sharedby is offering many features to free accounts, but some analytics related features are only for premium users like:

 

  • Social Analytics Timing (To view optimal times to send your tweets)
  • Social Analytics Follower loyalty  (To view in-depth analytics on your followers)

 

If you have more than one twitter account, you will have to go premium as free account will limit you to one account. Premium (Influencer) account summary:

 

  • Unlimited Analytics history
  • Additional Analytics features
  • Bit.ly integration
  • Manage more than one twitter account at once

 

Price is $7.00 per month, and that is not expensive if you serious about your Twitter account. Casual users will surely skip this offer.

 

SharedBy Possible Conflicts with other Social Media Tools

 

Main difference between SharedBy and other tools is that, it converts your Tweets with ones containing Sharedby links. Converting is done by replacing your old tweets (deleting them) and by adding exactly the same ones with Sharedby link. Yes, SharedBy deletes your original Tweet and create a duplicate Tweet with SharedBy link.

 

You might think: Hey, that’s great, I want as many Sharedby links as possible so I can use Engagement bar features. Well, this might not be that good. Many people are using more than one Social Media tools for communication with Twitter, and some of them are collecting tweets information just like Sharedby.

 

Imagine what would happen if e.g. Twylah collects your twitter links and present them on your Twylah page them 5 minutes later Sharedby removes them (by deleting them). It would be a disaster. Your Twylah page would be full of broken links (Page Does not Exist).

 

I am including a screenshot of  Tweet mentioning me. You can find the time and the platform originally used by the person and the duplicate Tweet created after a minute by SharedBy. If you watch the Twitter Stream of a person who uses SharedBy you can find that every Tweets are duplicated and the original Tweets are deleted within a minute.

SharedBy

 

In the screenshot above, if you look closely, you can see that the original Tweet came at 2.40 pm and a duplicate Tweet careted at 2.41 pm. The links are different. I’ve blackened the Twitter profile information and the SharedBy url to protect the privacy of the Twitter user.

 

Other Issues

 

It’s too much self-promotion.  Don’t you think that I am doing enough self promotion in my won website? People by visiting your Sharedby links are forced to look at your Engagement bar. Can you force Engagement? I think this is exactly what SharedBy Toolbar is doing, Forced Engagement.

 

It would be great if you could set every third twitter link you post to be converted to Sharedby link.  Such feature does not exist – only if you convert manually which could be exhausting.

 

Another issue I found with SharedBy toolbar is after you add the JavaScript or the plugin  in your blog.  All the external inks going from your site carry your tool bar. I personally don’t think that it is appropriate to give a link to an external site carrying your toolbar. And again with external links, if you add the plugin or JavaScript , the links never open in a new tab/window.

 

Conclusion

 

Since I am huge Twylah fan, I am not using Sharedby as it is breaking my Twylah Pages. But it does not mean Sharedby is bad. Actually, it’s a good tool. However, you must be aware of converting process this tool uses. People are usually using more than one Social Media tool, and this could be a problem. Sharedby, conceptually is a good idea It’s up to you to decide should you use it or not.

Google+ Comments

8 Responses to “Why did I Stop Using SharedBy Toolbar?”

  1. Ileane Says:

    Hi Annetta,
    I heard that Visibli became Sharedby but I didn’t realize that they were altering the links from tweets.

    I never used this service because I find the engagement bar annoying. I realize that people want to know how effective certain tweets are but it just never appealed to me.

    Thanks for sharing all the details and I’ll be sure to pass this along.

    Have a great weekend!
    Ileane recently posted..My Tools, Tips and Strategies for Google+ SuccessMy Profile

  2. Lisa Says:

    I can see why you left Annetta. I much prefet the look and ease of Digg Digg. It makes sharing quick too. Good choice!
    Lisa recently posted..Will The Facebook Graph Search Change Social and Search?My Profile (dofollow)

  3. Annetta Powell Says:

    Thank you Lisa for the comment and reminding me about Digg Digg. I was planning to install the plugin instead of the current sidebar floating share button.
    Annetta Powell recently posted..Why did I Stop Using SharedBy Toolbar?My Profile

  4. Annetta Powell Says:

    Hi Ileane,

    Thanks for stopping by and the comment. I tweet a lost after I joined Triberr and I felt bit uncomfortable sharing other Tribe mates posts with my toolbar on top of each of the blog posts. I have no problem if other Tribe members share my content with their toolbar. It’s a personal choice.

    Many people use several tools at once probably without knowing that some of them would conflict each other. I noticed it after I started using Twylah. When I go to my Twylah pages, most pages keeps giving the error that page does not exist.

    In general, it’s a good tool as long as one doesn’t mind creating duplicate tweets and does not conflict with any other tools being used. And of course the toolbar is annoying :)
    Annetta Powell recently posted..Why did I Stop Using SharedBy Toolbar?My Profile

  5. Carolyn Says:

    Excellent analysis, Annetta. I think it’s a big dangerous to have all of your tweets deleted and replaced. I could see going forward that your tweets have the Sharedby link, but for them to retroactively change tweets is just a recipe for disaster.

    I am using Share Juice and really like the functionality of that plugin.
    Carolyn recently posted..Which iPad Should You Get?My Profile

  6. Annetta Powell Says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Thank you for the comment. I do Tweet a lot and its about 60 to 70 Tweets a day. Now imagine deleting each one and making new tweet and creating duplicate doubles. Although deleting and recreating happens within seconds, it still affect the tracking and analatics. But for someone who uses only Sharedby for all Tweeting purposes and Tweet analysis, it is a good tool.
    Annetta Powell recently posted..41 Ways to Become Twitter SavvyMy Profile

  7. Philip Says:

    Hi Annetta,

    I’ve actually never used Shared.by, was actually wanting to test it, but after reading your post I don’t think I’m gonna bother with it.

    Thanks for the detailed post and saving my time.

    Have an awesome week, cheers.

    ~Philip
    Philip recently posted..WordPress SEO: The Ultimate GuideMy Profile (dofollow)

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Digg Digg or simple social bar may work better for you. Digg Digg is now part of the Buffer app team (tool that lets you schedule tweets).
    Lorenzo recently posted..How to Take a Screenshot on a iPod TouchMy Profile

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