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Are many sharing buttons good on a web app? How about design for a online book reading app. What matters on choosing sharing tools? My feeling is to know the function of sharing widgets and know the audience who might use those. Then determine some. What your opinion?

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closed as not constructive by JonW May 21 '12 at 18:24

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you know the most used sharing options of your audience that would be best for chosing the right services. Entry paths from analytics or surveys could solve that.

If you have to guess I agree with Ben D. I would consider aditionally the region of your service. Add This provides interesting stats about services, countries and the amount of use.

I prefer to provide 3 services. More is clutter. You could start with 5 services and track what performs good. Add those the users request. Finally you could leave the 3 most popular services.

If you don't want to have it too complicated: Email (for the older generation), Facebook (for everybody) and Twitter (for the tech-savvy). This would work for most countries in Europe and US. But you could check the Add This stats for a specific region.

If you find an API connecting to reading related services thats a plus.

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I think it's important to consider both your audience and your content.

Audience: Older and/or less tech-savvy audiences would probably want an easy way to share by email, while younger or more tech-savvy people might think twitter, facebook, or reddit are more important.

Content: Online book reading would probably benefit from sharing between friends (email, twitter, facebook, etc). Something like Reddit or Digg would be less relevant.

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I've never seen sharing icons of any benefit to the user but rather only a benefit to the site owner in terms of SEO. I could be wrong, of course. Just my perspective. If I'm going to share an article, I'm quite capable of doing it on my own without the need of digging through 2 dozen icons.

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