I've seen many websites and many networks on the web that all have links that allow users to "Like" them on Facebook or to follow them on Twitter. So, why doesn't a big network like StackExchange have such links on their pages? What are the reasons behind this? I'm curious and want to know.

  • That's a good question, as (AFAIK) each StackExchange site has an associated Twitter account that tweets out links to hot questions. I'm not sure how I would find this out had I not read blog posts about it a while back.
    – adamjford
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:31
  • 23
    Because they are annoying and superfluous?
    – user1228
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:38
  • 4
    upvote is our "like"
    – Jin
    Aug 15, 2011 at 18:13
  • @Won't: The Twitter accounts, or social networks links? For the former, I think there's a useful feature, as least for me; I've came across many interesting questions thanks to them. As for the latter, I agree that "Like"/"Tweet this"/"+1" buttons are an abomination, but what I would like to see is a link to a site's Twitter account in the footer somewhere. EDIT: Only just realized now that you weren't replying directly to me. Ah well.
    – adamjford
    Aug 15, 2011 at 18:16
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    -1 dislike this.
    – Cody Gray
    Aug 16, 2011 at 10:22

2 Answers 2


As adamjford points out, most Stack Exchange sites have a Twitter bot (click the little Twitter icons on this page to find them) and there is a global Stack Exchange bot as well. House ads are run for them, such as this one, to aid with discovery.

For individual questions, the SE 2.0 sites do have share links.

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We don't mug for "Likes" on an entire site (or the network) because it's both obnoxious and pointless. The interesting bits are the questions and answers, so we constrain advertising to them.

Personally, I sort of hate these share/like/re-tweet/whatever links you find everywhere on the internet. However, a reasonable number of users want and use them so we provide them where they make sense in an unobtrusive manner*.

*You'll note that we don't embed iframes or third party scripts on page load for any of them, as that negatively affects page load times.

  • 1
    Why isn't this on StackOverflow?
    – genesis
    Aug 15, 2011 at 18:07
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    @genesis, because we really despise these features on Stack Overflow :p Aug 15, 2011 at 18:10
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    @FrédéricHamidi: why would we do so? :)
    – genesis
    Aug 15, 2011 at 18:11
  • @genesis, I was only kidding, but it's in the social networks' best interests actually: the sheer amount of traffic on the Big Three would probably overload their servers with requests, and their content with noise :) Aug 15, 2011 at 18:20
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    @ Frédéric: uh, right, because SO generates so much more traffic than Facebook could ever handle.
    – Wooble
    Aug 25, 2011 at 17:34

I guess that's because Stack Exchange is a lot of things, but not a social network (chat feature notwithstanding).

Therefore, the usual services associated with that medium are not really in the scope of the site. Requests for social networking features, as interestingly controversial as they might be, are usually turned down.

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