I cringe every time I hear someone mention ShareThis. When optimizing a site, it becomes a nightmare to speed up; a paranoids worst fear with all the third-party calls it makes — and a blackhole for sercuity experts tracking down the seemingly ever-changing external scripts it loads.
ShareThis Third-Party Resources
In the process of implementing a CSP, I was shocked to find the total number of resources ShareThis calls. At the time of writing this, I counted a total of 39 domains and subdomains it the ShareThis plugin was calling:
- http://w.sharethis.com (CSS)
- http://l.sharethis.com (Image)
- http://adadvisor.net (Image)
- http://bcp.crwdcntrl.net (Image)
- http://www.adadvisor.net (Image)
- http://p.brilig.com (Image)
- http://e.nexac.com (Image)
- http://su.addthis.com (Image)
- http://rtd.tubemogul.com (Image)
- http://d.p-td.com (Image)
- http://ds.reson8.com (Image)
- http://loadus.exelator.com (Image)
- http://dp2.33across.com (Image)
- http://p.nexac.com (Image)
- http://p.raasnet.com (Image)
- http://p.rfihub.com (Image)
- http://i.w55c.net (Image)
- http://loadm.exelator.com (Image)
- http://a.triggit.com (Image)
- http://sync.mathtag.com (Image)
- http://r.casalemedia.com (Image)
- http://dpm.demdex.net (Image)
- http://idsync.rlcdn.com (Image)
- http://load.s3.amazonaws.com (Image)
- http://d.xp1.ru4.com (Image)
- http://segments.adap.tv (Image)
- http://dm.de.mookie1.com (Image)
- http://ib.adnxs.com (Image)
- http://tags.bluekai.com (Image)
- http://sync.tidaltv.com (Image)
Nuts, huh?! Not a big surprise anymore why ShareThis was causing my slow page load times. From what I found, the majority of the calls are for ad and user habit tracking pixels. No wonder their a free service, their probably getting paid big bucks from companies to track what you’re doing. Though, I understand they need to connect to the various social network APIs to grab numbers, I don’t think they need to add tracking pixels for advertisements and user habits.
An example is adadvisor.net and crwdcntrl.net. Their domains used by Targus Info and Lotame which is an advertising company that is part of a network of sites, cookies, and other technologies used to track you, what you do and what you click on, as you go from site to site, surfing the Web. Over time, sites like adadvisor.net and crwdcntrl.net can help make an online profile of you usually including the sites you visit, your searches, purchases, and other behavior. Your profile can then be exchanged and sold between various companies as well as being sold to other advertisers and marketers.
Alternatives to ShareThis
After finding out everything ShareThis is doing, it was time to find some alternatives. Here’s some I’ve found that seem to be less resource intensive—though may still load ad and user habit tracking pixels, not nearly as many as ShareThis:
If you prefer a more plug-and-play options, here’s some pretty good WordPress plugins and Drupal modules for social sharing.
Flare is a simple yet eye-catching social sharing bar that gets you followed and lets your content get shared via posts, pages, and media types.
Display the counting data of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Steam Community, SoundCloud posts and comments.
3. Dig Dig
Your all in one share buttons plugin. Add a floating bar with share buttons to your blog. Just like Mashable!
AddThis Share Buttons help drive traffic to your site by helping visitors share, bookmark and email your content to over 330 services.
Adds an attractive social bookmarking menu and related content widget to your posts, pages, index, or any combination of the three.
1. Social media
The social media module helps integrate your website with social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. It provides an centralized way of managing social media profile information and plug-in widgets such as follow and share buttons.
2. Easy Social
This module helpers your readers and subscribers share, email and bookmark your articles and pages using the popular services such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and over 100 more.
This is the #1 bookmarking and sharing button on the net. Simple and easy to use button that’s used by 14 million websites worldwide and reaching 1.3 billion people worldwide per month.