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Facebook Launches New Social Plug-In: The Recommendations Bar
Facebook’s newest features include the Recommendations Bar, a social plug-in that is designed to help sites increase number of clicks and likes on its content. Facebook’s Developer Blog announced the roll-out of the feature on July 26, 2012.
A New Feature
How the plug-In benefits site users:
- Like content
- Share reads with Friends
- Get recommended reads
Look of the Recommendations Bar
After installed, the social plug-in appears at the bottom left or right-hand side of the screen (as specified by site) when the user begins to read an article. The small box shows the signature Facebook Like icon.
As the user scrolls toward the page, the box expands to reveal a list of other related articles under the header “You Might Also Like”. The recommended articles, according to the Facebook blog post, are based on content Friends have liked and shared through the app or website. In other words, the recommendations are for other popular content on the same site.
Users can click on the listed titles to easily read the adjoining articles within the same site. As well, they can click the Like button from the Recommendations Bar. One click of the Like button publishes the story back to the user’s own Facebook Timeline. There is notification that the user liked the content on the website.
Popularity of the Social Plug-In
Several websites have begun to use the Recommendations Bar. One major site is Mashable. According to earlier tests, sites using the social plug-in saw three times the regular number of clicks through on articles shown within the Recommendations Bar. Now that’s positive feedback!
To install the new social plug-in, site users need to embed a few lines of code. Sites must include open graph markup on their articles so that Facebook knows to share articles on the site. Without the markup, the Recommendations Bar will expand with an error message rather than showing content within its box.
To learn more about the coding, including specifics on expansion of the plug-in, read Facebook’s page on the Recommendations Bar.
Effects of the New Plug-In
The Recommendations Bar is designed to increase page reads for site owners, as well as easing the ability of readers to share information to Facebook and find related articles. The long-term effectiveness of the social plug-in will need time to be analyzed. Being utilized by Mashable, which is a top tech blog, is a great start!
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