97

2013 called and it wants it's social media links back.

The social media landscape has grown far more varied, controversial and complex in the past decade, but Stack Exchange still seems to promote a select few without any apparent rhyme or reason (other than legacy).

The "Share" button has quick links to Facebook and "Twitter" (as pictured above), but not Threads or Mastodon or Parler or Tumblr or Truth Social.

In user profiles, Stack Exchange has space for three links:

  • A generic website link
  • A GitHub profile
  • Twitter

The generic website link is useful for just about anybody... but why, in 2023, is Twitter the sole social media site for profiles?

And while GitHub makes sense for some of the more technical sites, shouldn't Beer, Wine & Spirits allow a link to Untappd, etc? Why would Gardening & Landscaping users want to link to their GitHub profile? It feels like we are implicitly telling our non-technical sites that they are second-class.

Now that Twitter is rebranding itself to "𝕏", perhaps it's time to reconsider the prominence of certain social media sites over all others.

For the Share pop up, I propose removing the social media links entirely.

We already have a handy "Copy link" button which works for anything from micro-blogging to SMS.

For User Profiles, I propose one of the following solutions:

1. Remove the social media link completely.

We have a rich text About Me section where users can add whatever links they want.

2. Rename the "Twitter" link to "Social media"

If users want to keep the link, or if it's too tightly entwined in code or UI designs to be easily removed, then can we just rename it and let users put a link to whatever social media site they prefer?

3. Add arbitrarily many links

Give users the ability to add arbitrary links (up to some reasonable limit). This might be friendlier to non-technical Stack Exchange sites where GitHub is totally irrelevant.

If we care about icons, it would not be difficult to determine an appropriate icon based on the domain (e.g. Twitter, GitHub, YouTube, defaulting to a basic link icon)


Note: This post was inspired by the accepted answer to Add a Mastodon link in addition to Twitter?.

11
  • Talking about icons, can't just Stack Exchange scrap the favicon from the link? Or that seems impossible?
    – Ghost
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:01
  • Scrapping favicons is suprisingly tricky. There are lots of possible places to look.
    – mousetail
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 19:05
  • I think proposal 3 is probably the best way to go. Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 19:23
  • 21
    I think #3 makes sense, but it would be more work. #2 is nice and simple to implement.
    – starball
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 21:06
  • And also does not break previously created profiles Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 5:36
  • 4
    Good idea! Maybe replace it with LinkedIn or some other professional site, one that an expert might use. Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 9:41
  • @sonic - This is a feature-request and should be judged as a feature-request. Any particular reason you added the discussion tag?
    – JDB
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 20:38
  • 2
    Your question doesn't propose a single, specific solution. You ask for something out of three solutions to be done (which is why I kept the feature-request tag instead of removing it), but there's still an open discussion of which of the three solutions should be implemented. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 20:39
  • 1
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog - Thanks. I'll keep that in mind for the future. My single specific request is to remove the prominence of a single social network, but yes... I'm open to a discussion about how best to do that.
    – JDB
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 21:22
  • This is more important if Twitter starts charging all users! $$$
    – MT1
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 17:40
  • I think Github does this well on a user's profile page. I'd be very happy if the same interface was available on here.
    – Richard
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 13:11

3 Answers 3

7

I'd like a combination of 2 and 3, where the default labels remain (except for GitHub on some sites?), but you can add some arbitrary links with custom labels as well. I'm not an interface designer, but I don't think this would be too difficult to implement.

4
  • 1
    A label isn't really necessary (where would you display it?), but an icon could be useful (so other users have some sense of what they are clicking on). However, I believe it would be better to have an icon selected based on the link, otherwise you could end up with a Facebook icon that links to a blog pushing supplements.
    – JDB
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 21:25
  • 2
    @JDB a label could be placed anywhere near the link, and could be helpful in case someone doens't recognize the icon.
    – bobeyt6
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 21:30
  • 4
    label/content pairs appears to be how they do it over on Mastodon, for what it's worth. So we wouldn't be reinventing the wheel here.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 9:04
  • FYI, based on linked questions, etc, I've expanded the scope of my post to include social media links outside of just the user profile (in case you want to/feel like updating your answer)
    – JDB
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 13:23
3

If 2 or 3 then please also set rel="me" for Mastodon 🙏🏻

2
  1. No.
  2. Maybe.
  3. Yes. They should have a couple icons from the most prevalent social media sites and use them as image links while having either displaying the full link or some default image for anything else.
1
  • FYI, based on linked questions, etc, I've expanded the scope of my post to include social media links outside of just the user profile (in case you want to/feel like updating your answer)
    – JDB
    Commented Sep 18, 2023 at 13:23

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