How Windows 8 Broke the Facebook Like Button And How to Fix It

Windows 8 uses a new Charms Bar Share feature that makes social media sharing a hard job – here’s how to fix it

Sharing pictures and posts on Facebook, Pinterest. Google+, LinkedIn and Tumblr are regular pastimes for most of us. Forget the Like button because Microsoft has banished it to be replaced with a tile.

For reasons known only to Microsoft, they broke all the established norms of social media engagement with Windows 8 Charms Bar Sharing. It makes for a confusing and frustrating experience. This article will help you get what is available working.  

Microsoft is rumored to be developing an upgrade to Windows 8 called Windows Blue. Perhaps Blue will fix these quirks. The real question is why did Microsoft ship Windows 8 with social media sharing as a work-in-progress?

This article only applies to sharing when using the new Windows 8 Modern (Metro) interface.

Windows 8 Modern apps are not allowed to use Facebook Like or Share buttons but use the Charms Bar (Windows Key +C) Share function. This is a completely new way to Like something that has several steps.

  1. Add social media app from Windows Store or Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 Modern
  2. Register the app with the People app
  3. Allowing Share in PC Settings
  4. Access the Charms Bar Share to share the page, photo or other web object.
  5. If all this fails, use the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10 or Chrome to browse the web.

Facebook and Twitter will work reliably, usually, after these steps are completed. Twitter will not auto post anything more than the link, so you have to retype the headline. LinkedIn and StumbleUpon work sometimes. Sharing Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr does not work at all, when this article was written.

See the related post – Why did Microsoft Change The Rules of Social Engagement?

Let’s run through how to set up sharing and where the traps are.

Windows 8 People App

People Home Screen shows social media connections in upper right corner

Windows 8 uses the People app to register most, but not all, external social media sites that you share content with.

I recommend first installing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and any other social media sites with the Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 Modern. Login to each social media site to make sure it is working.

People Accounts Add screen

At this point, the social media apps should be available in People.

On my People Home screen, it lists Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as registered apps. Click on the “…” on the far right to see what else can be registered.

If you have registered app that is missing, try clicking Add An Account.

Here is where frustration can set in: Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media sharing sites are not listed.

When Microsoft will allow sharing with them is anyone’s guess.

PC Settings

Don’t give up because there is more to do. Go the Start Screen and type Share. There will be a list of more than ten items under Settings. Pick the one that says simply Share.

Microsoft confusingly uses the word Share to mean network sharing and social media sharing. They could have sorted out the naming or at least put the terms in well-defined, separate places.

PC Settings Share – turn on apps to Share

Here you will turn on the Apps that you want to share with the slider switch.

The StumbleUpon and Wikipedia apps are listed here but not in People. Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest are missing from the list,  an example of the illogical organization of Windows 8 that can drive you a slightly batty.

There is also a setting at the top of the screen to “Show apps I use most often at the top”. The first time you try to share a picture or post, the app will not show. Click on the down arrow to use the Share feature for the first time for each sharing site, like Facebook or Twitter.

Sharing a post or picture

From this point forward, you should be able to Like or Share any Windows 8 Modern screen that allows sharing by selecting Charms Share (swipe right screen edge or Windows key +C).

Say you’re reading a story in Vanity Fair that about Taylor Swift. Taylor says she’s not a clingy girlfriend, a story that’s worth sharing.

Some apps Share with a swipe from the screen bottom, right-click of the mouse or the standard Charms Bar Share (swipe from right edge and Windows key +C) Here’s what you see –

Sharing a story on NBC Today with most of the sharing sites missing

Select the Facebook tile and it will post the picture thumbnail, story title but no synopsis.

Select Twitter, it posts the link only, retype the story title or make up your own tweet.

Select People, and you get the Twitter and Facebook again. Despite being registered in People, LinkedIn and Google+ are not available.

Windows 8 Share with StumbleUpon is with specific friends and it usually fails.

Select StumbleUpon and it presents a list of followers to send the link to.

This is not how StumbleUpon is supposed to work but at this point you are happy if the post is accepted. It fails more than 50% of the time with unexplained errors.

You can not share with Tumblr and Pinterest since they missing from the Share function.

Why Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Pinterest are not shared in Windows 8 is never explained by Microsoft.

I would appreciate any comments that can shed light on how to make Share work better in Windows 8. 

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