If you are one of the many readers who have discovered Slate by clicking on a link that a friend e-mailed, then you know the power of a personal recommendation—and how the right suggestion can easily become a beloved bookmark. Today, in partnership with Facebook, Slate is launching a new tool, Facebook Social Plugins, that makes it easier for our readers to share favorite articles with friends.
Facebook Social Plugins are an expanded, more powerful version of the Share function that has been on Slate for years. With our new Facebook tool, you can "Like" our articles and automatically share them with your friends on our site and on Facebook. Just press the Facebook "Like" button at the bottom of any story, add a comment if you want, and approve it: A post saying that you have "Liked" the story will appear on your Facebook wall and as part of your news feed.
The new "Most Liked" toolbox on the right side of our pages also presents Slate's most popular stories among Facebook users, while the "Recently Shared" box shows which users are liking which stories at any given moment. Perhaps the best feature of the new application is that when you are logged into Facebook, the "Recently Shared" toolbar shows you a feed of the Slate stories your Facebook friends have liked.
As with most launches, there is a bug: The Facebook Like button does not currently work perfectly with our commenting system. Those of you who have used Facebook to comment on Slate before and have that Slate login saved in your cookies should notice no change. But new users who haven't commented on Slate before won't be able to sign in using Facebook. Instead, you can sign in and comment via Yahoo, Google, Twitter, or JS-Kit. We are working as fast as we can to fix the Facebook sign-in bug and hope to have it resolved in the next week.
Feel free to e-mail our comments moderator, Jeremy Stahl, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments about the new Facebook tool. We hope you like it.