UPDATE (February 10, 2011) — I have posted a followup article ( Facebook Share Button Revisited ) that provides links to an alternative solution for this problem, and also discusses the fact that facebook is apparently “discouraging” further use of the share button.
The share button provided by facebook is an excellent tool for blog owners and website managers. It provides an easy way for your readers to share their favorite content, and it automatically displays the number of times a given page has been posted to facebook. Unfortunately, when configured with the counter display above the button, the count is not initially displayed if the page has been shared fewer than three times (by design). And when the count is not displayed, the button size is smaller than normal, causing a lot of web-page design frustrations. For this reason, I set out to find a way to “force” the share button to always display the count, even when the value is less than three.
The first step is to download a copy of FB.Share from the facebook servers. You should be able to do this by typing the following URL into your web browser:
Use a text editor to modify this file. Search for the following string in the code (embedded in the middle of long code lines):
Change the “3” to a “0”: