Friday, June 11, 2010

Released Facebook 'Like' Button on ninemsn Sports

On the eve on the Fifa World Cup 2010, my team at work just released a powerful new slideshow tool (Backend built using Silverlight) to let our content producers pump out new slideshows at a very fast rate. I cant show you guys the back end but the front end looks like this.

This is essentially a very simple slideshow but I've been pushing for as much Social Network integration as possible. There is a comment tool which has got full Facebook Graph and Twitter integration (You cant see it above as it is not enabled on this slideshow - i'll post a review once we have a slidehsow with it enabled), and I've also integrated the Facebook 'Like' button social plugin as shown below:

And once a user 'Likes' the slideshow it appears on their Facebook wall like so:

I really wanted to integrate this as i believe that this year's World Cup is going to see the most content and media spread online virally than any other sporting event in history. So people are going to be 'sharing' articles, photos and slideshows, videos and other interactive goodies at an amazing rate and i wanted to give users of our sites the tools to do so as well.

The Facebook 'Like' button is super easy to implement and i highly recommend you guys do so on your own websites. But make sure you track the incoming return traffic from Facebook, i.e. once the link to your content has been shared to a user's Facebook wall and their friends click on it and return to your site, make sure you are able to track that as it will be strong evidence on the massive positive impact sharing links on Facebook can be for a website trying to attract more visitors.

We track this 'social network return trafic' by appending a query string value to each link we share out:

For e.g:

Is shared out as:

And then when the link is clicked in Facebook and returns to our original location, we use this querystring value and store that along with the 'Referrer', in this example the referrer is ''. We can then pull reports using our analytics tool on how much 'New' referrer traffic has come in from because of the 'Like' button, and this is a very useful statistics to have. You can also do the same for when you share links out to Twitter, and in that case store the return impression of the link along with the referrer (, which is then give you the 'New' referrer traffic you got from

So get started and share out your content on Facebook using the Like button, its so easy and the benefits are massive. To learn how you can integrate the Facebook 'Like' button on your site go here:

Good luck.

A controlled test of the Facebook ‘like’ button on the #ninemsn sports site boosted our Facebook referrer traffic by 1500%! This is amazing!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck


  1. I was only a Facebook user for 6 months and have a personal opinion on its value, however I do find Facebook "like" plugins very disruptive when at a workplace that blocks If I happen to go to a website (like ninemsn) that has "like" buttons all over the place, using the Back button in IE is painful. I have to click it 5 times to get back through the facebook plugin pages that load. I'm not a programmer so don't know enough about the mechanics of it. If only they had a Dislike button.

  2. Hi there, that's a very interesting observation you have made there. So I'm guessing your workplace blocks the domain ''?

    I believe this is happening to you as facebook like button code (which loads from the domain in a iframe on the main web page) is being replaced with your companies 'blocked' page. which is causing your IE browsers back button to mix up the main webpage's history and the iframes's history and therefore when you hit back on your browser it's acting up.

    I've seen this happen in the past where iframes are used in webpages, from a technical perspective, there is a way to use iframes on a webpage in such a way that it does NOT mess with the main webpages history and back button and i'm sure Facebook uses this with their like button code, but maybe there are boundary cases
    where it does not work.. i.e. when the domain is blocked by a network etc


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