We trying to implement decent social sharing module for our app and have 2 question, which are pretty much related:

  1. Is it important to have visible text which directly say to user what to do, like Share with friends, Tell friends, share near the social media icons (facebook, twitter, instagram) V.S. just having social icons alone is enough trigger for an action? (this is a main question)

  2. Was there any actual study about how it's affect sharing if

    • a User see options already on the screen (let's say fb, twitter, instagram)
    • b There is single share button, and when user click on it, there is dialog with actual sharing options appear, or just additional icons appear on the screen.

If there is no any research regarding this, what is your personal opinion regarding preferable way to go, if the idea is to get more content shared.

Yes, I saw relative questions, but they seams about web, not mobile, which I think kind of important. But anyway, my main problem is to have actionable text or not.


1 Answer 1


Your decision should also be informed other factors:

  • how much you desire to encourage that behavior
  • how dense/sparse the information on screen already is
  • how many social networks you plan to provide links for
  • how does the interaction match up to similar interactions in your product and what patterns have already been established
  • how much traffic you want to push to one platform, like preferring Facebook but allowing for others (or how much one platform gets used by your users)

One of the problems with an icon-only share button is the non-standard iconography used to represent the concept. If it were a platform-specific icon, that would help, but still less effective. Share Icons by Platform


Optimizing for these preferences: Encourage sharing, streamline for 2-3 major social networks, minimize footprint on page ... I would recommend something like this:

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the answer Chris. However when I initially asked about icon, i mention set of icons of social media, not a single sharing icon.
    – Ph0en1x
    Mar 7, 2017 at 7:13

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