Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. Facebook stands as the contemporary example that proves the quote so right. When Myspace was at the top people ignored Facebook, then they laughed at their ambitious plans to become a platform, they fought against privacy issues and despite all that Facebook has won fair and square.
Since now that it is clear we can’t beat them it is time to join them. There are umpteen number of ways to plug websites of any shape & kind into Facebook thereby nurturing a community, encouraging conversations, improving user engagement and increasing page views.
The choicest options and tools to tap into the billion eyeballs audience are coming up after the jump.
Facebook Like Button
Eventhough it is called the Like “Button”, it is quite capable of performing a lot of social networking weight in your blog or web page. Like box is a Facebook Connect enabled social widget that Fan Page owners can add to their websites to allow visitors to become a fan and view the accompanying Facebook Page stream.
Additional features like size of the box, including the stream of recent posts as well as a list of fans can also be customized. Like Box also allows the visitor to log in and become a fan directly from your web page as well.
DISQUS is a problem solver app. It helps you deploy a remotely & independently hosted commenting system across multiple blogging platforms like WordPress, Movable Type, Tumblr, Blogger, Drupal and many more. Visitors can login via Facebook Connect to comment in your posts.
Every time a visitor leaves a comment, they can easily share the discussion happening on your site to friends and followers at Facebook, easily spreading the discussion across the social web all the while bringing new traffic back to your site
Echo is the new generation commenting system that enables you to watch the live reaction for your content in your blog. Just embed their HTML code in your site and voila! visitors now can login using multiple identities including Facebook, keep track of contributions and engage in parallel conversations.
Now owned by Automattic, the company behind the wildly popular WordPress bloggig platform, IntenseDebate is a hosted commenting solution ala. DISQUS. Once the plugin is installed in your WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or Movable Type blog, users can login via Facebook Connect (among other options), comment on your posts and share them in their Facebook news feed.
WP-FacebookConnect is a free WordPress plugins allows user login via the Facebook Connect APIs. With this plugin, users can publish their comments in their news feed and have their profile picture show up as Avatar alongside the comments in your blog.
Are you a professional blogger busy enough to be not able to keep track your friends and family? This WordPress plugin will process the status updates of your friends, your posted items feeds, your Facebook notifications feed and will display them all in their own little widgets right in your WordPress admin dashboard.
Are you a photography enthusiast with a great collection of pictures in your Facebook account and do not want to go through the hassle of uploading the same images again to post in your blog? Fret no. Fotobook is here for your rescue.
Fotobook is a free plugin that will link to your Facebook account via Facebook APIs and import all of your photo albums for use in your WordPress blog. Once the pictures are imported, you can choose & post individual pics just like the way you normally do from the media library.
Fotobook can import photos from multiple Facebook accounts and is also capable of displaying random images in your blog as a sidebar widget.
Unlike a lot other WordPress plugins which tend to be focused in half duplex connectivity by either importing your Facebook news feed to your blog or your blog posts to your Facebook feed, WPBook helps you go full duplex.
With this free plugin enabled you can pull recent blog posts from your blog in to Facebook, and allow Facebook users to add their comments. Once the comments are added in Facebook, they automatically show up on your blog and vice versa. Your visitors and You as well, do not have to follow the same conversation in two places, WPBook syncs parallel conversation into a single stream on both ends. Users can also invite their friends to check out your blog thanks to WPBook.
As the name suggests, Drupal Facebook Connect is a module (plugin) allows users to login on a Drupal website through the Facebook Connect API.
With the help of this module, visitors can see which of their Facebook buddies already have an account on your Drupal website, invite those who are not on board yet and can tell the world that they part of your Drupal fraternity via a customized message on their Facebook feed.
Unlike Drupal Facebook Connect which has a limited mandate, Drupal for Facebook is an ambitious project under development. Drupal for Facebook is actually a collection of modules and themes that can turn Drupal into a platform for developing Facebook Applications.
On top of allowing users to login & mingle via FB connect, this project empowers you to embed your content and features within Facebook. Advanced Drupal users can implement Drupal’s user management, permission schemes, blocks, views, etc. in their Facebook App
Also known as the Like Box, this module allows visitors to like the Joomla site, see which friends are already in the community and read recent posts from the Facebook fanpage
Just like it’s peer plugins, Facebook Buddy Module allows the visitors to view their Facebook friends along with their profile pictures and status messages on your Joomla website.
Just like the rest of the fanbox modules (plugins), KA Facebook Fanbox Pro also has the standard set of features. The USP of this module is its ability to extremely customize the fanbox to your tastes. You can choose custom border & background colors, select a font that fits your theme, limit the number of fans displayed, control the stream s and many more. Multiple languages are supported for international users.
Facebook Connect Wizard is the easiest possible way to integrate FB Connect to your website allowing users to login without having to create an account at your website at all. With the help of this wizard, integrating FB Connect is just three steps away for developers and non developers alike.
You can start by registering your URL and uploading a file to your server to enable interaction between your site and Facebook Connect. After doing that, find the relevant code samples, buttons and integration tools you want from the Playground for Facebook Connect to add on the back end of your site. And before you know it, you will have a quick & inexpensive way to create an userbase.
Ready made solutions mentioned above don’t cut it for you? If so and if you are a well versed programmer, you can start exploring the Facebook for websites at the developer Wiki. You can test your programming and integration chops by implementing social plugins, single sign-on, capture account registration data etc.
Hardcore developers can dive into server side personalization to increase user engagement on your site by personalizing the content on your site to a user based on his or her social graph.
Once your app is up-and-running, it is now time to harvest some useful analytics information to fine tune your service. Insights helps you get detailed analytics about the demographics of your users and how users are sharing from your application with others.
Is there another solution that would make Facebook integration in websites easier and would make this list complete? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.
Portion of intro. image by SmallBuck.com