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IP.Board 3.3 Dev Update: Auto-share on posting

IP.Board was one of the first commercial products to make use of Facebook integration to allow logged in Facebook users instant membership. We extended this in subsequent releases to include the ability to share status updates and links from the board such as topics. During this time, we also added Twitter as an authentication system and the ability to tweet out links and status updates.

You don't have to be an active Facebook or Twitter user yourself to appreciate the advantages of tapping into the millions of users these sites receive daily. It's a great way of driving more traffic to your site and to encourage activity.

Auto Sharing
In the current version of IP.Board, you can quickly share and 'like' content such as topics, gallery images and blog entries when you read them. In IP.Board 3.3.0, we've taken this a step further and added the ability to auto-share content during creation.

You simply check the boxes for the services you want to share with and it'll share the content as soon as its been saved. You can even make the current preferences default so you don't have to remember to check them each time.

Of course, these buttons don't show if you've disabled sharing for that forum and you can optionally disable the entire feature from the Admin CP.

Authentication Flow
In the current version of IP.Board, you have to be connected to Facebook before you can share status updates and links. This means you'd have either registered with a Facebook account of you'd have linked them via your UserCP. Not everyone will be aware of this functionality so there's a chance that some of your members will never make use of those features.

In IP.Board 3.3, we've utilised the Facebook Javascript SDK into our own code so you can connect to your Facebook account without leaving the page.

The Facebook auto-share button is visible even if you're not currently connected (assuming of course that the feature is enabled and you've set up Facebook via the Admin CP). When you click the checkbox, if you're not connected, the request for permission dialogue loads automatically. Once allowed, the connection is finished in the background and you're all set up ready to share without leaving the page.

This drastically reduces the barrier for connecting your Facebook accounts with IP.Board and further encourages sharing.

Changes to meta data
When you share a link, Facebook checks the page for specific Open Graph meta tags. Once of these determines the image that is shown next to the link. By default this is the IP.Board logo. In IP.Board 3.3 when you attach images to a post, these are used as the shared image bringing context to the link.

These changes will no doubt increase the number of topics shared with Facebook which in return will increase visitors to your forum for those that embrace social media as a way to drive traffic.

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