Prepare for the End of the Facebook Like Box Plugin




  • May 12, 2015

    Facebook_Page_Plugin_Blog


    Chances are you have your website integrated with Facebook one way or another. The most common integrations we see are Like Box and Facepile. The first allows site admins to embed a simple feed of content from a Facebook Page on their site and the latter displays the Facebook profile photos of people who have connected with a Facebook Page.


    Go ahead, pull up your homepage and check to see if your website includes one of these features. Don’t forget to check the interior sidebar. These plugins are frequently found there as well.


    Found it? Ok, good. Read on…


    Facebook released the latest version of Graph API v2.3 on March 25. The Graph API is the primary way to get data in and out of the Facebook platform. In other words, it’s how external Facebook apps, like those typically seen in website footers and sidebars, grab their data and then display it.


    Most changes in these types of updates go largely unnoticed, but a few of the most used plugins for businesses have been deprecated. What does it mean to be deprecated? The “techie” definition of deprecation is “an attribute applied to a computer software feature, characteristic, or practice to indicate that it should be avoided (often because it is being superseded).” In layman’s terms, it’s how software authors tell the world to avoid using something.


    In the latest release, Facebook has made the decision to deprecate – or discontinue – the Facepile and Like Box plugins.


    What’s changing?

    Facepile and Like Box will be completely discontinued on June 23, 2015. At that time, these plugins will no longer draw information from Facebook, and will stop populating Facebook’s data on your site.


    Facebook announced this change in advance in order to give website admins time to remove the code associated with these plugins. Want to remove it but not sure where to start? Typically you can find this added into pages via an iFrame. If you don’t remove the code, the world won’t end, but a code snippit that does not generate anything may appear on your site in place of the depreciated plugins.


    What do you need to do to prepare?

    While Facebook has no plans to replace these depreciated plugins, they have created more of an “all in one” solution with an upgraded plugin called Page Plugin. Page Plugin will allow admins to embed and promote their Facebook page on their website. Users will still be able to like and share your page without leaving your site, but the mode of installation and look and feel have changed.


    Page Plugin now incorporates Facepile (optional) and the functionality of Like Box in one plugin. They have even added the ability to include a small rendering of your page’s cover photo, making branding across platforms even more consistent.


    5 Steps to Replace Deprecated Plugins

    1. Locate the current deprecated plugin code on your website, and remove it entirely.


    Widgets ‹ Glow — WordPress.png


    2. Navigate to Facebook’s new Page Plugin at http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/page-plugin


    Page Plugin.png


    3. Fill in your page’s information and choose the options you wish to see (friends’ faces, cover photo, page posts). If you have or know of a specific height and width for your site, you can enter it here. Otherwise, leave these fields blank to use the default options. Once the preview is set to your liking, click “Get Code.”


    Page Plugin - Options.png


    Page Plugin Code.png


    4. Installing the code snippit that Facebook provides is a two step process. First, you must insert the Javascript code right before where you want the plugin to appear on your site.


    Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 3.09.57 PM.png


    5. Then, you must add in the code right after the Javascript and save your modifications.


    Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 3.13.06 PM.png


    The front end of your site should now populate with the new Page Plugin. Here’s an example from one of our clients…


    Final.png


    June 23, 2015


    With plenty of time to prepare for the deprecation, make sure that any Facebook Plugins on your site are swapped out with the new code by June 23, 2015. Set a calendar reminder now.


    Or, go ahead and make the adjustment in advance. Be on the cutting edge and update your plugins today. You’ll get a snazzy new look and not have the added pressure of a changeover during your summer vacation.


    Have you already made the switch? What did you think? Was it easy? Let me know in the comments.


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