For over a year now, the Like button enables you to add a comment, and it shares the story on Facebook with the thumbnail and all. Although the share dialog gives more options to the user - they are probably redundant and the extra dialog must have it's drop-off.

The big advantage of a 'share' button is that I can design it as a prominent button.

My question is - are there any studies that show if users click a 'share' button more then 'like' in some cases?

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    Welcome to UX.SE Eyal, good to see you here :) – Vitaly Mijiritsky Mar 25 '12 at 10:26
  • For Web site operators there is a world of difference between the Share and a Like button. The share button communicates the existence of the respective Web page to an unique distribution list, even without an added comment regardless of the ramblings of Facebook. In short, liking an article does nothing for a site, but sharing it increases hits to the respective site. – user32685 Jun 15 '13 at 14:18

Facebook says the Share Button is deprecated and will not be supported anymore at some point in the future. Reason is that clickthrough rates of the Like Button are better.

We deprecated the Share Button when we launched the Like button, because the Like button improves clickthrough rates by allowing users to connect with one click, and by allowing them to see which of their friends have already connected.

Source: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/
(scroll all the way down to "What happened to the old Share button?")

To your point

The big advantage of a 'share' button is that I can design it as a prominent button.

The Like Button is quite configurable with attributes. Maybe that will help to get it fit your needs?

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  • We have an argument here, where one party says that some users need an explicit "Share with friends" to understand that it shares, and not just votes up. What do you think? – ΞΫΛL Mar 26 '12 at 9:16
  • @EyalShahar I'd think that most facebook users are familiar with what the button does. To be more explicit, you can use 'Recommend' instead of 'Like'. That, on the other hand, would probably not consider the ones that just wanted to express sympathy with your site. Question is, what users are more likely to do. Would love to see this in an A/B test and get to know the results. – greenforest Mar 26 '12 at 9:23
  • Does the statement about share button deprecation still apply? Seems like the button is alive and well and there is no longer a question "What happened to the old Share button?" on the referenced page. – User Feb 17 '14 at 21:06

If you still want users to be able to post the story to their wall with a comment then consider using the Feed Dialog https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/dialogs/feed/

If the users is already logged in it will display a lightbox style popup with options to share, if they are not logged in it will launch a browser popup and prompt the user to login.

The button which triggers this can be custom, so you can make it bigger and change the design etc

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  • The feed dialog is basically like the share button, just for apps. The con is the same - the user gets a popup, and if he has nothing to say, he might regret and close it, whereas a like button is a spontaneous lite feedback. – ΞΫΛL Mar 26 '12 at 9:13
  • Does this mean the user have to authorize the app before sharing via the Feed Dialog? – lulalala Nov 1 '12 at 7:46

Everything on FB is shifting to the concept of 'stories' and you are able to propose your own 'verb' button if it suites you. Whilst the above post about the share button being depreciated is very much the case there is nothing stopping you adding the functionality to allow a user to post directly to their FB wall from your site. This way you could effectively have complete UI control over how this 'Share' button looks.

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The Facebook Share button is much different than the Facebook “Like” button. When you use the Share Button, you empower your readers to add additional commentary around your link. Plus, when they Share it as opposed to Like it, you’ll get more visibility in their Facebook feed.

While Like and Share served different purposes in the past, most of the functions of the Share button have been added to the Like button. This simplification is one of the main reasons that Facebook is moving towards having just one button instead of two. It’s simpler for users to understand, simpler for new sites to adopt, and simpler for brands to quantify success.

Facebook deprecated the Share button on February 28, which means they no longer recommend its use in applications or on external web sites. The share button still works as of now, but Facebook will de-prioritize maintenance of the feature.

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