Facebook just launched its official WordPress plugin which allows you to “easily” integrate Facebook features into your WordPress website.
I’ve spent the last day or so playing around with it and here’s my initial thoughts.
Why You Should Install Facebook for WordPress
1. Easy connection to your Facebook account. If you’ve ever setup one of the many Facebook plugins for WordPress, you’ll know that you typically have to create a new application in Facebook, grab the API Key and API Secret from your app, and paste them into your plugin.
This plugin is no different, except you only need to do it once and it gives you access to several of Facebook’s social plugins. Having an integrated Facebook plugin like this keeps you from having to create multiple Facebook applications for a bunch of different plugins or a bunch of PHP coding… which is very handy.
2. Facebook Pages integration. Out of the box, the Facebook for WordPress plugin integrates with your Facebook pages. This is huge, because, chances are, you use a Facebook page, not your personal profile, in connection with your blog.
Having pages integration out of the box lets you automatically post new posts to your Facebook page, integrate a Facebook Page Like Box, and more. And, it’s all built into the plugin without the need to install a bunch of plugins or create a bunch of apps (see #1).
3. Easy Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons. Once you’ve integrated the plugin with a Facebook application, you can easily add Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons to your blog posts. Simply check a few boxes, select where you’d like them to show up, and you’re all set.
The plugin also includes sidebar widgets for adding Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons making adding these items to your sidebar a snap.
4. Simple Facebook Comments. If you’d prefer to have Facebook-only comments on your website (a good anti-spam strategy), this plugins makes it a breeze. Much like the Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons, adding Facebook comments to your posts is just a few clicks and you’re all set.
5. Powerful content recommendations. The Facebook for WordPress plugin also includes a Recommendations Bar feature you can easily add to your website. The plugin will recommend content across your site to your readers.
The powerful part is the fact that these recommendations are based on all the social and interest related data Facebook knows about each individual reader and the content of your site… making these recommendations highly targeted for each visitor to your site.
6. User and Page tagging in posts. Probably, one of the coolest parts of this plugin is the ability to tag your Facebook friends and Pages when you posts new posts. Tagged users get the post in their timeline, as well as, their name added to the post on Facebook.
This is a powerful way to draw specific people into your posts and jump-start the comments, likes, shares, etc.
7. Official. As I mentioned, this is the “Official” WordPress plugin from Facebook. That means it’s reasonable to expect that, as the plugin is developed, it will contain all the latest features and options available from the Facebook API.
Probably even more important is the fact that if Facebook changes something… they’ll now have to change the plugin to match… instead of you having to wait for a third-party developer to make the changes. So, the upgrade/change process should now be much smoother.
Why You Should NOT Install Facebook for WordPress
1. Deep integration is a bit confusing. In order to access some of the more advanced features of the plugin, you have to walk-through a deeper Open Graph integration. Unfortunately, that process is a bit cumbersome.
You have to go into the Open Graph, create a new action type, create a new object type, create a new WordPress post for that action and object type, request and approval from Facebook, etc.
Yeah, it’s long and if you’ve never messed with the Facebook Open Graph, it can be confusing. Hopefully, in the future that gets easier, but for now it’s a bit messy.
2. Facebook takeover. Depending on how much of the functionality you use from the Facebook for WordPress plugin, it becomes real easy for Facebook to take over your site. If you’re social strategy is primarily Facebook-focused, that could be a good thing; however, if you want to integrate with other social platforms (Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn), it will probably be difficult to get a smooth integration while using this plugin.
3. Facebook is the root of all evil. Insert your favorite “Facebook is evil and attempting to hijack the web” conspiracy theory here. :)
Have You Tried the Facebook for WordPress plugin?
Have you tried the plugin? What’d you think of it? What tips or suggestions do you have?