Facebook has finally come out with an “Official” plugin for the popular blogging and content management system, WordPress. Is this something to get excited about? Is it a must have for your WordPress site or blog? That depends.
There are a few really nice features about this plugin, but many of the features have already been done by other third-party plugins, which most people are already using. This might explain why, at the time of this writing, there are only 39,368 downloads when there are millions of sites using WordPress.
Here are some of the features that are included:
Like, Send, and Subscribe buttons: There are plenty of Social Sharing buttons that do this, as well as add buttons for other social media sites. A good example is AddThis.
Comments: We use a service called DISQUS for our comment system which is pretty awesome. However, using Facebook’s comment system isn’t a bad idea. We haven’t tried this feature yet, but will likely try it out on a client site in the near future.
Recommendations bar: Allows users to click to start getting recommendations. This could be a pretty nice feature, but it’s not very intelligent. When it displays recommendations, it doesn’t consider if the user has already liked the page they are recommending. So it’s a good feature that could be great if the Facebook developers wanted to spend a little time on it.
Social Publisher: This is our favorite feature. Hands down. It allows you publish your posts to the Author’s timeline, or a Fan page, or both, automatically. You can also mention friends in your posts, which will display on their timeline. This feature makes the plugin worth installing, even if you are doing everything else with other plugins.
Widgets: You can drag and drop many of the above features into the sidebar of your WordPress website using the many widgets that are included in the plugin.
All in all, we think the Facebook for WordPress plugin is a pretty decent one, and it would probably be used by a lot more people if they hadn’t waited so long to produce it. However, the social publisher alone makes it a nice plugin and if you don’t use any of the other features, it’s still worth installing for that one.