What’s great about the WP platform is that it’s backed by a huge and active community, and is therefore constantly updated with the latest internet technology like HTML5, CSS3, and Responsiveness. Because of this large online support, there are over 20,000 plugins available, ranging from social media widgets to fancy visual sliders. In this article we’ll go over 3 essential WordPress plugins that can help socialize your blog or site.
ShareThis is an essential plugin for anyone that wants to enable Social Media sharing on their WP site. It works by showing up as a vertical or horizontal bar of social media icons on a blog post or page. The reader can then share the page or post to separate social networks by clicking on the corresponding icon.
The admin of the plugin can choose which icons/social networks to appear – it’s also relatively simple to setup and doesn’t require the WordPress theme to be manually edited. Simply tell the plugin which types of pages you want it to show up on, choose orientation, icon type, location of page, and more. Sharing stats are also available so that the admin can track everything.
WP to Twitter is an extremely useful tool for anyone that actively uses Twitter to promote their blog or website. The plugin shows up as a sidebar in the WP admin panel when editing and creating post. More about Flic Global.
When the plugin is enabled, it’ll create a tweet based off of the headline of your page or post, and add hashtags based on any of the wordpress tags you’ve applied – and sends out the tweet once you publish or your page/post. It’s very customizable and is a great way to save time when posting your WordPress content to Twitter.
INSTAGRAM RELEASES WEB FEED FOR BROWSERS.. WITH LOTS OF WHITE SPACE
Back in November, Instagram started making changes to its almost non-existent browser version, by adding profiles. This was probably due to Facebook’s recent acquisition of the exploding social network, in an effort to streamline its services. The new web based profiles are beautifully designed, with some styling and layout queues drawn from Facebook’s Timeline.
One thing missing from the web based experience though, was an Instagram feed much like one from the mobile app. Good news is that yesterday, Instagram finally took light of the much needed feature and introduced a web feed. Bad news is that it needs a lot of work.
Anyone can use and see the new feature by going to Instagram.com, and logging in. Right away, you’ll notice the feed look & layout is pretty much copied over from the mobile app and beautifully done, but unfortunately due to the widescreen nature of browsers, there is white space. Lots of white space. Seeing as how Instagram photos are square sized, there really isn’t much of a way to get around this by stretching photos to the margin without having to scroll vertically in order view the whole thing – so the white space was inevitable – but Instagram isn’t utilizing this white space for anything but a boring gray texture. There’s been lots of speculation on what Instagram will soon use the empty space for, with the most plausible solution unfortunately being ads, since the social media behemoth Facebook now owns the company.
Back to the functionality of the new web feed, you’ll notice that there are a few things you can do and a lot that you can’t. Right off the bat, you’re given the ability to view photo comments, like/comment, and click on usernames to visit their profiles. The downside of this is that hashtag functionality is completely non-existent, and there isn’t any sort of built in search or SEO on the web version of Instagram.. which is an important feature of the service for anyone that wants to explore new content. Another thing missing is the ability to upload photos, which is understood as there isn’t much of a necessity to take photos from your computer’s webcam/camera. A basic upload feature with an effects editor would be nice to post saved photos/images from your computer, but that sort of takes away from the whole Instagram experience.
Overall, the new Instagram web feed looks nice, but needs a lot of work to really make it a feature worth using regularly. We’re sure that new things will be added in the coming weeks since it just came out, and we’ll let you know the most important updates as they roll in – what features would you like to see on the web version of Instagram?