Facebook launched its Send button Monday, in a bid to improve the functionality of Groups as well as replace the classic email to a friend button.
Send is intentionally similar, in look and feel, to the Like button.
Click on Send and a pop-up appears, allowing you to send that article or page to friends, groups or any email address.
You can then add a message and send the page to friends’ in-boxes or post it to a Group wall.
The button is designed to make it easier for users to share content with close groups of friends, Facebook product manager Austin Haugen explained to Mashable.
He cited an increasingly popular trend: users posting a commerce site to a Group to figure out what gift to buy for a friend.
Another important detail: Send counts toward the total number of Likes a page has.
The Like total is now calculated by adding the number of Likes, shares, comments and in-box messages containing a URL.
More than 50 websites are launching the Send button, including Gilt Groupe, 1-800-Flowers, The Wall Street Journal, Orbitz, Last.fm, The Huffington Post, People.com and The Washington Post.
The Send button’s code is also now available on Facebook’s Developer Website.
And as with the Like button, it only takes a few lines of code to get the Send button running on a website.
If the implementations we’ve seen so far are any indication, Send will become Facebook’s next Like button – which celebrated its first birthday last week and is installed on more than 10,000 websites every week.
The Send button is designed to be Like’s companion, focused on private sharing rather than public sharing features.
And since Send includes the ability to share articles via email, the classic email to a friend functionality available on millions of websites is rendered obsolete.