Facebook has revised its Share button on Web sites, incorporating in a counter, and is also enhancing its offering of analytics data, giving Web site operators more information about how Facebook users interact with their sites.
In a post on its developer's blog, the company notes that users share more than 2 billion pieces of content every week and that most of it is done through the Facebook Share button on Web pages. The counter displays how many times the URL has been shared on Facebook but the analytics allow the site administrators to see how often users shared the link, "liked" the shared story, posted a comment about it on Facebook and click back to the Web site from the shared story.
As a tech journalist, I tend to share a lot of my own posts, as well as a number of interesting news stories I've discovered, with my Facebook friends. And, seeing how I often get some comment from friends, I can see where this sort of data could be useful to a site operator.
As a Facebook user, I have had some reservations about how much of my "Facebooking" information is being sold to third parties, especially since I sometimes share personal things with friends that I wouldn't necessarily shout from rooftops. But I also understand that Facebook needs to find ways to convert the valuable data points into a business strategy that will help the site grow and prosper for the long-term.
This is a good example of what could work for Facebook. These sort of data points provide great insight for the web site administrators and doesn't really step into that uncomfortable zone of details that makes users worry about their privacy.