Friday, January 15, 2016

Techie: Facebook Page share button has disappeared

Earlier this week, the Share button disappeared from all posts on Facebook Pages for a number of people.

[UPDATE 22 January 2016: Finally the 'share' button has returned to Facebook Pages - nearly two weeks after it disappeared. Seems like a long time to me for something that ought to be fairly straightforward to fix. Did it take Facebook this long to notice - despite all the feedback?]

This makes it virtually impossible (as in 'very difficult and longwinded') to share anything from one Page to another.

At the beginning I thought I must have done something really, really awful and incurred the wrath of Facebook. Not that it had told me I done anything wrong but I couldn't think of any other explanation. There again I couldn't think of anything I'd done wrong either!

So I sat and looked at posts on museum pages and exhibitions that I wanted to share - and I couldn't.

At the beginning of the week I looked to see if anybody else had the same experience and couldn't find anything.

Turns out that a lot of people probably thought the same as me and just sat tight and waited to see what happened.

After very nearly a week, they are now all over Facebook complaining about what has happened and how long it is taking to produce a fix. Some of them have even taken to direct messaging Mark Zuckerberg!

The conclusion that many are coming to is that this is Facebook's way of extracting money from people running Pages and/or that it is connected to the recent introduction of Facebook Business Manager. Personally I think a lot of businesses may start pulling their Facebook advertising in the near future if people can't share items on their Pages easily to other Pages! (Why would you advertise on a platform that you can't trust to perform properly i.e. share easily)

The thing is that many pages are community oriented pages - they're not Business pages. I don't make any money from any of my three Facebook Pages - that's not what they're about!

I think Facebook might just have come up with a reason for many people to become more active on Twitter and embracing Instagram!

PS The consensus of opinion re Facebook Business Manager is "do not touch with a bargepole" - people are having all sorts of problems with access to their accounts.

Key Points

Below are the key points of what has happened and two possible work arounds.

Put simply
  • The 'share' button - to the right of 'like' and 'comment' on very many Facebook Pages has disappeared. If it hasn't happened to you yet sit tight - it will in all probability as some people with several pages have reported it happening over time
  • If you have a Page you can hope others who also have a Page will share your post - but this will NOT happen unless they know the workarounds - or until Facebook fixes this problem. 
To date the only thing I have seen is the following

This is the post which has generated the most comments
and an early response from the Facebook Help Team but nothing since

Possible fixes

an option to share via your personal account makes sharing very, very longwinded

Below are two possible "work arounds" for the problem, however neither is as simple or used as much as the very easy click of a share button!

Share from your own account

To do this you need to do the following
  • spot the thing you want to share in the newsfeed of your page
  • make a note of the name of the page
  • go to your personal account
  • put the name of the page in the search box at the top - this should bring you that page
  • you should see the share button because it's not missing in the personal account
  • the next bit is complicated if you've never done it before:
    • click the 'share' button
    • now click the plain 'share' (NOT the share with friends - which will share it to your account timeline)
    • now click share on your timeline
    • next select "share on a page you manage"
    • next select which Page you manage that you want to share it to - and click and you'll get the option to share it to that page with a covering message from you

How longwinded is that compared to clicking the "share" button on a Facebook Page?

How many people are not going to have their content shared as much - because people don't know how to do this?

Share through a different process

This one is nonsensical but it works (although it didn't earlier in the week). This is what you have to do:
  • Operate in Page persona
  • Click on the drop down triangle in the top right and you'll see a drop down menu like the one in the image below
  • click "more options" and this will change to read 'Embed" - click "embed" and you will see a view like the one below - (the code at the top allows you to embed the Facebook post in a blog page - but this is a side issue)
  • You don't want to embed the page - you want to share it - so click the "share" button which has appeared at the bottom right of the page
  • you will then see a normal share page - with space for you to add a comment. Write your comment and share the photo - and it will appear on your Facebook Page

Again - a very contorted, complicated way of sharing a Page item to your Page.

The major problem is that none of this will happen unless people know the way to share posts to Pages. Hence this blog post!

In conclusion....

Facebook appears to be unable to comprehend that people want to split their interests in Pages between their accounts and their Pages which represent very specific interests. We compartmentalise our lives and we need to be able to do this on Facebook too. (As in I want to be able to read my completely separate newsfeeds via my mobile feed as well!)


Roberta Warshaw said...

So I just looked at my "business" page and the share button is gone from there. I had no idea since I rarely go there any more. I love instagram instead for sharing my work. I like the way anyone can find you so easily on there.

The heck with Facebook. Good for chatting with friends and relatives but not much else.

David Clinch said...

There is a quicker way. Click on the web address browser window to highlight the entire address of the page you want to post. Then copy and paste the web address into the "write something" window of your page. Hey presto....

Katherine Tyrrell said...

David - that's the conventional method for sharing any article or blog post or website or Facebook. What this article is about is losing the "share button" on Facebook Pages so Pages no longer have their posts shared.

There isn't a URL for individual posts on Facebook Pages so your method does not work

If you put the Facebook Page URL in the browser URL line you can use method 1 in the blog post

Jacqui Boyd said...

Just looked at the pages I visit and all of them still seem to have a 'share' button. Most of them seem to be 'business'pages - Wally Workman Galleries, Mr Stitch, royal academy of art, just a few of the pages I visit on a regular basis. Looking at your Making a Mark page just now, it appears to have a share button on the posts.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

That's because you're looking it from your account - and if you view PAGES from an account you do see share buttons

It's if you look at a PAGE while in your own PAGE that the share buttons disappear

Sandra Busby said...

I have gone off Facebook recently too... It seems that hardly any of my page posts get seen buy more than a handful of people and the only way around this suddenly, is if I pay to 'boost' my post! I am not about to do that!! So I tend to duplicate my post to both my page and my personal Timeline. A lot of my Artist friends are feeling the same and they have all been advising me to use Instagram, which now I do. It is much better I think. Straight forward! And I simply share my Instagram posts to Facebook now. I do think Facebook have got a little above themselves on the scale of 'importance' and as a result I think they will lose many businesses to other platforms. It's a shame they have changed so much. I have just checked my page by the way and my Share button is still there at the moment...

Barbra Bishop said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to "Making a Mark" and the blog post re 'Facebook Page Share Button Disappeared.' My business page Share Button/Feature disappeared a month ago and I've been trying to find a work-around similar to the excellent steps outlined in your blog, but your instructions are awesome/very clear. Losing this Share feature really impacts negatively as discussed in the blag. I sent 3 "HELP" messages to Facebook asking what happened; I've rec'd 3 Facebook Help Responses - all FB responses were auto-responses merely saying "thanks for your input, we use input like this to make things better, you may/may not hear back from us further." And FB clearly marked my inquiry "CLOSED." No help here!!
Anyway, so glad to have found this very helpful blog! Thank you!

The Wise Traveller (Facebook page) said...

Many of the work arounds to this problem I feel are missing the point. When you share something from your Page, it is a form of engagement. It tells the person/cbusiness that share it in the first place you like it and you feel its worth sharing with the people that follow your page. In return the hope is they will take more note of the things you post and they will return the favour and share with their follows - engagement, mutual benefit and mutual building of communities/followers!

Cutting and pasting URL's and all the other work arounds looses the fundamental objective of building a following an helping others in your world do the same. What you end up doing is sending your followers elsewhere and getting little in return. More is the problem that many of us pay to expose our Pages to a broader context, if these can't be shared by other Pages in a similar situation it diminishes the value of Boosting, less thatn the low value it already has.

The troubling thing with Facebook now is they have totally avoided the discussion on this to date. No word, no fixes, no reasons (if there are any) to a change. From the posts I've seen from supposed Facebook customer support people, I have not been able to find one that actually exists anywhere else but in Facebook Support - none seem to even have their own Facebook pages. I would have thought most of these people should be proud enough to have Facebook on their LinkedIn profile and certainly on their own Facebook profile. But I digress.

Jennifer Page said...

I am retired. The Share button is missing on all pro leave EU pages but shows on all Remain EU stuff. EU have signed a censorship agreement with Facebook EU and UK, Youtube and Microsoft. This includes any criticism of the EU, its offices or personnel which is now a criminal offence. Does not apply to Facebook NZ so far. Posts are being deleted and Share button removed.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

How very odd. Do you have a reference for that assertion?

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