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IP.Board 3.1.0 Dev Update: Improved Facebook Integration

When we were developing IP.Board 3.0 we were looking for ways to lower the barrier for registering. There are many single sign in providers but most of them required separate registration and set-up. Around this time, Facebook released their emerging API "Facebook Connect". We seized the opportunity to implement it within IP.Board 3 and adhered to all their guidelines. The first implementation of the Facebook Connect API was less of a point of authentication but more of a way to appear as a member of a site.

This was slightly at odds with the concept of permanent registration at a forum and a few work-arounds had to be made. For example, there was no way to request your Facebook data without you actually being active on the board and connected (logged into Facebook). Also, Facebook did not allow you to request the Facebook user's real email address but instead had to make do with a long proxy email address that Facebook would use to forward mail to your Facebook account. Despite these limitations, it worked well in allowing users with a Facebook account to register almost instantly on your forum.

Since then, Facebook have updated their API dramatically allowing so much more functionality. Naturally, we have taken the opportunity to update the integration within IP.Board. You can now request several different permissions to allow IP.Board to fetch your Facebook data without you being online. Furthermore, IP.Board can now store a permanent "key" to link your forum account to your Facebook account meaning that you shouldn't see the "Connect" button once you initially set up your forum account.

As these permissions need to be explicitly granted, we have added a little section to the "Manage Facebook Connect" page to list the permissions IP.Board requires and whether or not such permission has been granted. If permission has not been granted, you will be give the option of requesting permission.



You can now also publish your status updates directly to your Facebook account using the new API methods:



This new implementation should clear up a lot of the current Facebook issues people experience, mostly due to authorization errors between IP.Board and Facebook caused by expired sessions.

The new methods also allow the new sharing links system.

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Wow, great!
Will it be possible to post an already posted status on the forums, to ones' facebook?

Say I automatically fetch status from my twitter, will it be possible to publish that status to facebook aswell? So the forum will act as a sort of "bridge" between twitter statuses and facebook statuse?

Good work! You truly are fantastic.

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OK, issues were fixed and now You can focus on own IPB features.

This new implementation should clear up a lot of the current Facebook issues people experience, mostly due to authorization errors between IP.Board and Facebook caused by expired sessions.

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[quote name='.Wolfie' date='09 February 2010 - 03:45 AM']With the permissions, if someone registers on the board via FBC, is it possible to 'require' them to give permission before granting them full access to the board?

I can almost guarantee that Facebook has forbidden that along with the other laundry list of "don't-do-that" things.

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[quote name='Hennet' date='08 February 2010 - 06:48 PM']
how rude.

Nope. Only in last time I have feelings that our civilization probably would crash down without facebook. There are more important and more usefull things than facebook.

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whats with all the facebook/twitter features
third party stuff such as tweetfeed can do a fair bit already

the big hole in all these features is that you have to surrender member control to facebook

the day you do that your forum is on its way to being nothing more than a external facebook application imo

shame that the same amount of effort couldnt be put into intergrating with drupal, joomla,wordpress etc

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It's good news yes.

But I'd rather see IPB improve the forum software rather then making all these features to support other sites. For a person like me, all these twitter, facebook, myspace features etc... etc... serve no purpose on my forum. I've been waiting for announcements on new forum features, however I've been quite disappointed.

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[quote name='IP.iBaLLiN' date='08 February 2010 - 11:21 PM']
Please add a feature that will automatically ask you to input a Display Name after you facebook connect to register. I, and many others, do not want my full name showing as my display name.

Yes. This is ESSENTIAL !

Please, please, please.

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I know 3.1.0 is going to support twitter logins. Will it also support Google logins too?

I've noticed Soundcloud.com supports Google logins, So I guess it is possible (I do believe almost everyone under the sun has either a GMail account or/and uses iGoogle as a homepage. I think it would be the most widely used login type even surpassing windows live login (Which I can't get to work along with Open I.D. (No idea why).

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Ok..

The point of adding Facebook integration was two fold:
1) It lowers the barrier for registration. Some people are put off by filling in a long form and waiting for activation. If they can click a button and log in with their Facebook username and password then they are encouraged to do so and participate in YOUR community. You get more members, more posts and more eyes on your content. This is good for everyone.
2) It helps promote your site via status updates and sharing links. See number #1 for the benefit of doing this.

Saying "it's just making the board a Facebook extension" is a little short sighted, as is saying that it is not a forum feature and it will not benefit you. You are welcome to ignore Facebook and continue to have nothing to do with it, but in doing so you are missing out on traffic and promotion. It's your choice as always.

We are not pandering to the social networking scene. We are simply adding tools that enable you to make the best use of today's websites. There is no compunction to use them.

As for forum only features, the last few blogs have been about ad management, soft delete, SEO and more - all very useful "forum only" enhancements.

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[quote name='IP.iBaLLiN' date='08 February 2010 - 11:21 PM']
Please add a feature that will automatically ask you to input a Display Name after you facebook connect to register. I, and many others, do not want my full name showing as my display name.


Facebook Connect guidelines do not allow additional steps for registration. It has to be click button --> logged in.

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[quote name='Mat (FDNZ)' date='08 February 2010 - 01:21 PM']
I can almost guarantee that Facebook has forbidden that along with the other laundry list of "don't-do-that" things.


http://developers.facebook.com/news.php?blog=1&story=355


I'd like to be able to require their actual email address, to prevent potential abuse because someone decides to register with their email address and then decides to register via FBC using a proxy.

You will also have the ability to require users to share their email addresses in order to use your application or Facebook Connect integration.

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[quote name='Mark' date='09 February 2010 - 11:35 AM']
Facebook Connect guidelines do not allow additional steps for registration. It has to be click button --> logged in.

Perhaps an extra field during the sign-in/registration? "Display name" with a note saying, "For new members, pick the name you'd like others to know you as." or something to that effect. That way new members can pick the name to use if they want but it's not required.

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[quote name='Mark' date='09 February 2010 - 06:35 PM']

Facebook Connect guidelines do not allow additional steps for registration. It has to be click button --> logged in.
It is possible. Look at Digg's Facebook connect. Here is a screenshot:
diggrz.jpg

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