The plugin was built by Facebook engineers in collaboration with open source partners “and makes it simple for anyone to make their WordPress site more social—no coding required,” according to the Facebook developers blog. “The plugin will also work on mobile and support internationalization.”
The plugin allows WordPress users to tap into a number of Facebook features. For example, you can cross-post WordPress content to your Facebook Timeline and the Facebook pages you manage. To further specify distribution, you can include the names of Pages and friends in the “Mention Facebook Friends” window, and the post will appear on that person or page’s Timeline.
It’s easy to use. Just install the WordPress.org plugin directory or upload the plugin to your server. Once you activate the plugin, you’ll then set up your Facebook app (don’t worry—Facebook has provided step-by-step instructions for those who have limited web development/coding experience).
Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can incorporate a number of social plugins on your WordPress posts and pages, including Like, Send and Subscribe buttons; Comments with SEO support; and a Recommendations Bar that lets users receive recommendations, like content and share what they’re reading on Timeline.
We’re fans of staying off shiny toy bandwagons and like to wait and share our opinion of new tools until we’ve had a chance to thoroughly test them. But at first glance, this is probably a smart move by Facebook. We’re sure you’re no stranger to the importance of content creation. Yet just as important as creating content is distributing it—and Facebook appears to have made distribution to its site much easier as a result of this new plugin. Plus, the ability to send content to specified friends and Pages gives users an opportunity to better target a key audience for that particular piece of content.
Hmmm. Good for Facebook. But is it good for you? We are not fans of putting all your eggs, blog included, in the Facebook basket, so consider this with caution. There’s no harm in checking it out, but be smart about it. Remember that Facebook (or any social network) really cares most about what’s good for them. What’s good for you—that’s for you to be in charge of.
One other word of caution? Use the mention feature sparingly—you don’t necessarily want to distribute every piece of content to all of your friends and Pages, lest you risk becoming a spammer. We can already see this becoming a bit of a nightmare. But maybe, if used correctly, this functionality might help individuals and businesses take time to better learn what their audience wants and deliver that information in a more directly personalized fashion. Or not. Time will, most certainly, tell.
Image by Nikolay Bachiyski via Creative Commons