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What The History Of The Social Sharing Plugin Has Taught Us About Marketing

At the dawn of WordPress’s emergence as the world’s most popular CMS, quickly followed by the inclusion of the “plugin” feature that would allow an entity to integrate any feature it so needed, the world first fully realized WordPress’s potential.

Millions of users rapidly learned how to use the tool, optimizing it for their own needs and however they saw fit. By WordPress’s fifth year it was nearly a household name. But there was one major problem.

WordPress served as its own community; a series of blogs that Blogger A would traverse after just having written his last post, later connecting with Blogger B, facilitating connection, communication and allowing what might have simply been an audience to thrive as a group.

What’s the point of a post if no one sees it?

If one brilliant post written via WordPress was never to be seen, it didn’t mean much. There was no way to share this post to another community; one like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that would draw in potential customers, turning a blog into a business.

Though it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which social sharing plugin came first, Jetpack, Digg Digg and Add This are considered the originators; each consistently trying to upend one another, each usually failing at least the first time. Of course, WordPress had the jump on things in the creation of its own plugin but that didn’t make it any better.

It didn’t matter; thousands of downloads grew to millions and rapidly, the social sharing plugin was the top-used plugin with the exception of those such as spam fighters.

Being able to market oneself was so important to bloggers and companies that they collectively brought what was once just a shortcut to the status of an invaluable tool.

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