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Activity to Facebook

Purpose

It can really enhance your social network if you let users share their activity posts to their Facebook accounts. Not only does this give the user’s something extra, it also publicizes your website on Facebook with a link (where the post was shared from).

To set up Facebook connectivity, you need to first create an application on Facebook. Login to Facebook as normal, and then go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps. Once there…

  • click on the “Add a new App” button
  • from the four icons that appear, click on the website icon
  • click on “Skip and Create App ID” • enter a display name, e.g. “WP Symposium Pro”
  • choose a Category and click “Create App ID”
  • make a note of the Application ID and Application Secret

You can always go back to see your application details via https://developers.facebook.com/apps.

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  • You must enter a contact email address, do so via “Settings”.
  • Having done so, you now need to tell your Facebook Application about your website. While still on Settings, click on the “Add Platform” button and choose “Website”.
  • You should enter your website URL in the “Site URL” and “Mobile Site URL” fields, eg. www.wpsymposiumpro.com.

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  • Last step. By default, your application is in development mode. To switch it to live, click on “Status and Review” and click on the button that says “No” to “Yes”.

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When everything is all set up, and running well, you may want to return to “Status and Review” and click on “Start a Submission” to get Facebook approval for your application.

Your Facebook Application is now available for use.

Now, on your website, go to WPS Pro->Setup and activate the feature. After saving, and possibly refreshing your page, a new section below will be available called “Activity to Facebook”.

In that section, you should enter the App ID and App Secret, and save.

Once you’ve completed all the above, on the activity page, below the area where new activity posts are added, your users will see a “Connect to Facebook” link.

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To share activity posts with Facebook, they need to “connect” which they do so by clicking on the link. If not logged into Facebook, they will have to do so first. After which, they should give permission for your website (and Facebook Application) to access their account.

If they don’t do this, they can’t share with Facebook. Only basic connectivity is used, nothing malicious or unnecessary is used (only what is required to post to their Facebook activity).

On returning to your site, the “Connect to Facebook” will have changed:

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They will see their Facebook account name, and the option to disconnect.

If they were logged into the wrong Facebook account when they connected, they can disconnect, logout of Facebook and re-connect with the proper account.

However, you are now done. Your users can choose to share activity posts with Facebook (by default), or un-check the checkbox to avoid sharing.

Shared activity posts on Facebook will include the name of your Facebook Application, hence it’s worth choosing an appropriate name, probably to match your website, as it’s also a link to your website.

In the example below, the name of the application “My Site” is highlighted in the red box.

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Note that replies to the activity post on your WP Symposium Pro website, and replies on Facebook are not synchronised, as this would cause issues around privacy and Facebook user’s not being aware of where their replies are stored. They can be considered seperate activity “threads”.

Availability

Provided in the Extensions Plugin.

Customising

You can use the global shortcode settings via WPS Pro->Shortcodes in the admin dashboard, or add them to the shortcode as options.

Example

Not applicable.

Options

The following (which shows default values and an example of using the shortcode option) can be set via the admin dashboard (WPS Pro->Shortcodes) or added as options to the shortcode in your WordPress page, post or widget.

Options are set under the [wps-activity] shortcode.

Facebook share message (share_msg=”Share post on Facebook as”)
Facebook connect message (connect_msg=”Connect to Facebook”)
Facebook connect message (disconnect_msg=”Disconnect”)
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