ShareThis Customized with an API

John Musser
Mar. 06 2009, 03:17AM EST

At the bottom of many blog posts (including this one) and website entries you're likely to find a widget that allows sharing to social sites or emailing to a friend. ShareThis competes with other systems like AddThis and SocialTwist to give publishers an easy-to-install sharing method.

sharethis

The standard ShareThis installation allows for non-developers to customize the widget's tabs (Social Web, Post, Email), the social sites included, and the look of the widget.

Now the company also offers an API that allows JavaScript-knowledgeable developers to go further in situations where they want to:

  • Share something more than just a single web page (e.g. image, video, etc.)
  • Change the default object properties
  • Share multiple objects on a single web page

The API documentation and support site describe the shared object properties that can be modified (title, URL, summary, content, icon, etc.) and the JavaScript elements available to customize the widget's behavior. More details available at our ShareThis API profile.

For further reference, Marshall Kirkpatrick interviews ShareThis CEO Tim Schigel and discusses how the data layer of the sharing phenomenon will have increasing value, and WebMonkey has a step-by-step tutorial on performing basic and advanced customizing using the API.

John Musser

Comments

Comments(3)

I have tried them all! ShareThis is technically the worst, sorry to say. SocialTwist is spammy. AddThis and AddToAny are far superior in performance, and I tend to find the right amount of features between the two to match my client requirements. When the decision is mine I will embed AddToAny or special site widgets.

ProgrammableWeb switched to jQuery bookmarks and I've been pleased with it. The only issue with it is difficulty with CSS. The problem with the ShareThis API is that it makes a remote call. Why share your visitors with ShareThis? Each hit to a remote site gives advertisers more data about your users... I guess it's all in the EULA.