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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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[quote name='bfarber' timestamp='1328712775']
If your members posted a topic, and that topic was shared on your community Facebook page, only members subscribed to your community Facebook page would ever see that it was shared (and presumably, they'd already see it on your forums anyways).

If your members posted a topic, and that topic is shared on their wall, their friends will see it, potentially driving their friends to click through and reach your site. That is the purpose of such a feature IMO - to drive more traffic to your forums (users that otherwise may never have heard of your site).



I find that I have gotten a lot of "likes" to my site's Facebook page from people who have never signed up for my forum. They still come and read the news (we do a lot of automotive news reporting) but they rarely if ever respond. I'm ok with that because traffic is still traffic and ad impressions are still shown. I reach a bunch more people on facebook that are otherwise outside of my "friends" circle this way. I believe that you are right that the "autoshare" to a user's facebook wall is important, but being able to autoshare to our own site's wall is important too.

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[quote name='CheersnGears' timestamp='1328986567']


I find that I have gotten a lot of "likes" to my site's Facebook page from people who have never signed up for my forum. They still come and read the news (we do a lot of automotive news reporting) but they rarely if ever respond. I'm ok with that because traffic is still traffic and ad impressions are still shown. I reach a bunch more people on facebook that are otherwise outside of my "friends" circle this way. I believe that you are right that the "autoshare" to a user's facebook wall is important, but being able to autoshare to our own site's wall is important too.


I agree and if I might edit, 'being able to autoshare to our own Facebook page wall' is extremely important ....

This is the situation for us. Our Facebook profile has maybe 35 'friends' but our Facebook page has 2200 followers or likes ... that's what is crucial for us

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You need to connect to both Facebook & Twitter via the ACP for them to appear.

In addition for the Twitter to appear the user must also connect their Twitter account to their profile on the community.


Please see

http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/documentation/index.html/_/new-docs/ipboard/promotion/twitter-login-integration-r665

and

http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/documentation/index.html/_/new-docs/ipboard/promotion/facebook-login-integration-r662

for some documentation to connect to them both in the ACP

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Our forums are private but we would like to use the auto share feature to allow members to share their content on their FB and Twitter pages. Can we allow them to link existing accounts while still maintaining forum security, and when these posts auto share - if someone clicks through to read the rest and is not a forum member, do they just get an error message?

Looking through the Integration documentation - I just want to make sure I am reading this correctly - can this be set up to allow members who want to join FROM Twitter and FB to use our regular registration process. We currently use the user/admin validation process. So if we set this up for these members to be sent to the "validation" group, would they then go to the regular 'queue' or how would we need to do that?

Thank you...

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