We recently wrote about some things to consider if you’re adding social and sharing features to your publications.
But what about leaving social out completely? Are there reasons this decision could be valuable for your readers?
Pros for Anti-Social Publications
1) Peace and Quiet
Readers are likely bombarded with interruptions all day. A publication with no reminders of social media, where they can simply read feels like a rare gift in this day and age.
2) Ability to Focus
Have you ever been at a great event, like a live concert or sports match, and you look around to see people watching the live event through a tiny window as they try to take the perfect shot to share on Facebook? For some readers, having social media embedded in what they are reading gives them a sort of anxiety, a nagging voice asking, “what’s the best phrase I can tweet from this article to let everyone know?” When there are not distracting social icons and cues, that feeling for many people can just disappear. Or at least fade until the next time they see a twitter icon.
3) Cleaner look-and-feel
Social media icons occasionally take away from the look and feel of an article and leave you without full control of the content of the page.
4) No maintenance worries
No sharing button works correctly forever. By adding sharing options to your content, you’re signing up to continue to test them on a regular basis. Without third-party integrations, you can relax, secure that your publications can exist without further maintenance or api call updates for third-party social libraries.
Cons for Anti-Social Publications
1) Marketing Assistance
The most obvious advantage to including social capabilities is the free marketing. If people enjoy reading your content, we can expect that a percentage of them would share it with others who might also enjoy it.
2) Lack of follow-on discussion
Often when an article makes a big impression, readers enjoy participating in discussions about the ideas put forward, chiming in with their own solutions, and reacting to the authors and other readers. Without social, those who want to continue to discuss or find people to talk about it with may feel lost. Comments sections below the article can be a good mitigation, but as anyone on the internet knows, they can be a hotbed as well and often require time-consuming moderation.
We’ve looked at a number of interesting ways to cater to different types of readers at Woopie. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to include social and sharing in your own publications, here are some suggestions:
1) Offer an on/off switch to enable or disable social media
2) Offer both online and downloadable/offline versions
3) Offer a premium “interruption-free” version
4) Share teasers or previews of articles via social media, through your own Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc channels to alert fans, but let the content itself be free from distraction.
Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/bixentro/
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