This is a follow up to Could we lighten up the Google+ icon a little? which I think was unfairly declined. On Stack Overflow, Super User and Server Fault the Google+ icon is less distracting because its saturation is more in sync with the surrounding icons. Compare the following of which the left is from TeX.SX and the right one is from Stack Overflow:

Google+ icon on TeX.SX Google+ icon on SO

The Stack Overflow Google+ icon is clearly desaturated, less obtrusive and it fits better with the surrounding icons. In HTML notation the color of the Google+ icon at TeX.SX is something like ae503e and on Stack Overflow something like 8d4c45, so they are not only visually different.

Can the TeX.SX Google+ icon be desaturated so that its color is similar to the one on Stack Overflow? This would not only make the icon less disturbing on TeX.SX but it will also contribute to the consistency of design across the Stack Exchange network.

Another issue with the Google+ icon is that it may be confused for bounty reward icons and this is especially true for those with color vision deficiency (as pointed out in a comment by percusse). Of course, bounty reward icons are only ever placed on answers and Google+ icons are currently only placed on questions. Still, the Google+ icon may introduce unnecessary confusion. For example the following may be confusingly alike when only glancing:

Google+ icon on TeX.SX Bounty reward icon on TeX.SX

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    I think we should emphasize more the similarity between the bounty color and G+ in the question body.
    – percusse
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:09
  • @percusse Do you mean that bounty color is red for emphasis and that the g+ icon shouldn't have as strong color because it should be less emphasized or that bounty icons and the g+ icon can be confused?
    – N.N.
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:11
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    Indeed. I had to ask my girlfriend about them since I am color blind (which supports the feature request, even I am disturbed by it :-).
    – percusse
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:13
  • @percusse Do you mean that the bounty icon for rewards bounties on answers, such as in tex.stackexchange.com/a/20318/5701, can be confused for the g+ icon?
    – N.N.
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:18
  • Not confused maybe but definitely draws unnecessary attention since it wasn't there before and only bounty declarations were similar to that. Maybe Google and overlords made an agreement and cannot modify the icons but they can certainly make the colors desaturated or they can implement a hover action as is for many other sites on the net.
    – percusse
    Feb 1, 2012 at 16:43
  • @percusse g+ icons are only put on questions while bounty reward icons are only put on answers so there is a structural difference of where they can be put already. However, I understand your concern and will add it to the question. Please shout if I construe it porrly!
    – N.N.
    Feb 1, 2012 at 19:02
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    Although this looks like it's now been resolved, I've voted to reopen this question on principle. This raised a new issue: the discrepancy between the sites so it wasn't a duplicate. Feb 1, 2012 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


I'm going to close this question as a duplicate of the very question you linked at the beginning of your post. The developers have spoken on MSO and on the Mathematics meta -- there are going to be no alterations to the sharing buttons.

[Update]: If you go to the question linked above, you'll see that this has been altered to meet the requests of the community. Cheers. :)

  • As an aside, I swear I'm not trying to be mean! I'm monitoring meta posts, currently, and unfortunately this is an issue that is considered [status-declined] from an official standpoint. It's the only answer I have for you, and I know it's frustrating but I can't change it.
    – Aarthi
    Feb 1, 2012 at 20:33
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    This question is TeX.SX specific because it relates to the design of this very site and thus it seems strange to bring it up on MSO. If it going to make sense to have a feature-request tag on meta.TeX.SX it is strange that the devs don't participate but proceed by middlemen.
    – N.N.
    Feb 1, 2012 at 20:37
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    The reason why there has been less complaints about the other icons may be due to their appearance, namely that they have a less disturbing color, and not due people whining about everything. Looking at the votes it seems to be a real issue raised by the community.
    – N.N.
    Feb 1, 2012 at 20:45
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    You were doing so well until your last paragraph. Those most likely to get confused or to find it intrusive are new users and they might not stick around long enough to learn to ignore the social icons. Them being prominent makes the site look a little too much like just another networking site, and so distracts from the core function of the site. Okay, so one little icon is unlikely to tip the balance, but if you stick around here for a bit then you'll discover that a lot of us do care about exactly how things look - see the meta post on kerning of the logo! Feb 1, 2012 at 22:30
  • @Aarthi You might want to change your answer and mark this question as status complete because Jin has desaturated the icon as requested. It is strange how first there is a decline/no discussion attitude to the request and then it is suddenly acknowledged. I am happy it is resolved. What I mean is just that it could have been handled in a nicer way.
    – N.N.
    Feb 2, 2012 at 8:09
  • (To keep things clear for others, my comment referred to the original version of this answer. In particular, the final paragraph that I referred to has been removed.) Feb 2, 2012 at 8:12

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