Get Firefox Share back with Share Backported

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 23, 2018
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Mozilla removed the Share icon and functionality from the Firefox browser when it launched Firefox 57, generally known as Firefox Quantum.

Share integrated sharing functionality directly in Firefox. Instead of having to rely on share functionality on sites, by extensions, or by using manual means to share, Firefox users could activate the share button to use the built-in functionality.

Built-in share offered some advantages over share functionality embedded on sites: it did not require scripts to run on sites and limited tracking because of that. Share was a controversial feature on the other hand as it was only beneficial to users who did share content.

Mozilla revealed the Share feature back in 2014 for the first time after the organization added the social API to Firefox in 2012. Mozilla Labs developed a Share extension in 2011 interestingly enough.

Share Backported

firefox share backported

Firefox users who miss the Share functionality that Mozilla removed from the web browser in Firefox 57 can restore it by installing the Firefox extension Share Backported.

Share Backported as the share icon back to Firefox. A click on the icon displays the default sharing services that users may post content to.

The default selection includes social networking sites like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter, and messaging services like Gmail, Telegram or Outlook.

Just click on the share button and select one of the options to share the active page or information on the page. Share Backported opens a new window whenever one of the available services is selected. All services require that you sign in to an account before share functionality can be used, and the window that is opened displays sign in options if you are not signed in already.

firefox share

The functionality that is provided depends on the service; if you select Twitter, the site's title and URL is added by default but you can add more text to the message before sending it to Twitter.

Share Backported supports several options; you can hide any service from the Share menu and change the dimensions of the window that is opened when you select a service's share option.

The extension supports Mastadon and Shaarli as well, but you need to add custom URLs in the options to enable those two.

Share Backported supports the Container functionality of the Firefox web browser and the Facebook Container extension that Mozilla published recently.

Closing Words

Share Backported is a useful extension for Firefox users who used the browser's native Share functionality and users who share content regularly.

While I don't use Share features outside of sharing new blog posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, I'd like to see a design option that implements Mozilla's latest Share design at least as an option.

It would also be useful, probably, if the developer would add options to add custom services to the share feature.

Now You: do you share content on the Internet?


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5 based on 3 votes
Software Name
Share Backported
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  1. Andreas Schamanek said on April 24, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I used “Share” i.a. to add my own Social API driven features or to share URLs with self-hosted applications, especially since running bookmarklets is denied by more and more sites like e.g. I was hoping for Share-Backported to support arbitrary custom URLs, but I understand that Share-Backported has a different focus.
    So, I am still looking for ways to “send” the URL, title and e.g. selected text to custom URLs like my self-hosted Wikis etc.

    1. Daniele Scasciafratte said on April 24, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      I can try to implement the support for specific software like I done for Shaarli or mastodon that can run on local instance.
      If you open a ticket for every software you need I can try it :-)

      1. Andreas Schamanek said on April 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm

        Thanks. However, my understanding is that Share-Backported tries to implement only specific services such as Reddit or Shaarli. It seems it is not meant to replace the Social API which allowed to share with arbitrarily many custom URLs. For example, I am in fact using Shaarli, but I operate 3 instances of it, and sometimes I add more for testing. Same for other self-hosted services.

      2. Daniele Scasciafratte said on April 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm

        Yes you are right I am not implementing the Social API of Firefox because is a huge task for few services that implemented.

  2. Daniele Scasciafratte said on April 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, I am Daniele the developer of the extension!

    I wanted that the extension had the same design of the previous feature implemented (the extension reuse the code of Firefox for that) and not others to be very easy and light.

    Actually I didn’t implemented custom services from the settings because often is required to change the code because the structure of the URL of different services is not the same and all the request of implementation often are for services that I cannot integrate.

    The purpose of the extension in few words is to be simple and very fast without embed specific SDK or library only for a share and with over 15+ services I done that :-D

    In any case I am open to every feedback or request on GitHub
    The last version of few days ago thanks to a code contribution now support the Container feature (and also Facebook Container from Mozilla).

    Thanks again for the appreciation :-)

    1. ShintoPlasm said on April 24, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      To the dev: thank you for this valuable contribution, and for fixing what Mozilla – stupidly – broke for no good reason.

      1. Jessica said on April 25, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        It wasn’t “stupidly” and it was for a good reason: the Social API was nonstandard and underused. It will likely return natively once the Web Share API is hopefully standardized (it is the spiritual successor of the experimental Web Intents).

  3. Pierre said on April 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Very interesting extension, thks

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