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I am facing a cornelian choice.

Should I use custom social sharing buttons for UI consistency or should I keep them original for better recognition ?

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Anecdotally, we use custom social buttons on this site and I never noticed them until someone pointed out we have the buttons. It's unfortunate as ours look quite nice and the standard ones are so...standard. –  Ben Brocka Oct 20 '11 at 20:36
    
i think, social sites don't wan't their buttons to be customized, because it presumably blurs the "brand image". That's why you should customize those buttons, and for exact same reason - because your brand image should dominate their brand image. –  c69 Oct 20 '11 at 20:36
    
Facebook forbids editing their logo. For example, Heise.de got problems for using a black/white version of the like button. –  ONOZ Aug 15 '12 at 8:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If people don't recognise social sharing buttons they aren't going to use them.

People recognise the logos of their favourite social sharing apps, and you want them to be able to do this as easily as possible so that they are more likely to share them.

If you think that your site looking good is more important than this, then why do you even need them in the first place? Surely it would look better without them messing up your design?

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Obviously I wont do heavy lifting on these buttons, but I feel like using the original ones would be easier to use. –  Rahman Kalfane Oct 20 '11 at 19:42

If the functionality provided by the share buttons is ancillary to the main function of your site (as I think they usually are), I would change the icons so that they match the design of your site. After all, it is your site.

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Actually, you may be violating trademark law by changing another company's logo to match your company's branding. Imagine if the situation were reversed, and another company modified your company's logo, perhaps making it white and putting it on a different background color to match other logos, how would your Marketing Department respond? Twitter, FaceBook and FourSquare all have terms of use on their sites you should investigate.

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Very true, always look up the Branding Guidelines for a company's logo in this case, they usually do allow (somewhat limited) editing of their icons as long as you're not confusing their branding. Here's Twitter's guidelines for example: support.twitter.com/entries/77641 –  Ben Brocka Nov 18 '11 at 15:48

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