Social widget-maker AddThis is announcing several updates to its service today, which should collectively make for a smoother social sharing experience.
One of the main additions is a feature called instant sharing, which allows users to share content to Facebook and Twitter without having to leave the page that they’re reading. That could doubly help the publishers that AddThis works with. First, because it makes it easier for readers to share content. Second, it’s also more likely that readers will stay on the site after they’ve shared.
AddThis also says that it now offers integrated social sign-in. In other words, if publishers want their visitors to sign-in, those visitors no longer have to create a unique identity for each site. Instead, they can sign-in using their existing accounts on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.
The sharing tool has also been redesigned into a single column instead of two. Users shouldn’t need as much on-screen real estate anymore for the different sharing options, because they can now customize the list to show the social networks where they prefer to share. (If you need to share content on more than a handful of social networks, what is wrong with you?) And AddThis says it now offers a single code to create a widget that works across tablets, mobile phones, and the desktop web.
In early tests of the new design and features, AddThis says sharing increased by 11 percent. Publishers won’t automatically be upgraded — they can keep the old design if they want — but the new codes should be available on the AddThis site.
AddThis used to be called Clearspring until earlier this year. Even before the rebranding, the product itself was called AddThis, which made it a more familiar name than Clearspring — hence the change.
The company says it’s now the largest sharing platform on the web, since it’s used by 14 million websites. (It’s measuring by website-count, not the reach of those websites.) AddThis points to ShareThis as its biggest competitor; ShareThis says it works with 1.6 million publishers.