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Facebook Launches New Social Plug-In: The Recommendations Bar

Updated on August 12, 2012

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

Facebook users gather around!
Facebook users gather around! | Source

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.

How the Recommendations Box looks on page.
How the Recommendations Box looks on page. | Source

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.


Options for the social plug-in.
Options for the social plug-in. | Source

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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    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Debbie, nice to see you too!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      awesome and intresting.. thank you for all the information.. I never knew this.. i will share this


    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Jane, yes I love following the trends now that I am writing more! Thanks for stopping by to read my friend.

      @Chuck, Yes I have upgraded to the new profile page.

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 

      6 years ago

      Great Hub. Very informative. I am impressed at the technology that is developing to keep us all connected...thanks for keeping me up-to-date!

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      6 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Yes Hub Pages is constantly changing. Now they have a new profile page.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Chuck, good question. They currently use the boxes at the bottom of the hubs to show similar content. Never know, especially with the new layout.

      @Polly, awesome!

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      6 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Should HubPages put this on their website?

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      6 years ago from US

      This looks good, will hang onto it until I figure it out. Thanks!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks everyone for the awesome feedback about this hub! Your words encourage me and are great to hear as I love sharing about social media! Funny how when we do what we love it just seems like less work. The feature is meant for your own site, so if you do have one (outside of HubPages) you will find this feature helpful to implement; the results so far show that page views of related pages shown on the Recommendation Bars are rising.

      Patti, yes I am looking at that. The list of yours that I read today is very helpful and I will be pursuing this now.

      Oren, I would suggest you look at the embedded links in this hub, in particular the Facebook one and perhaps check out FB forums. You may have similar tags between the posts and need to add more variety to content? That is a guess but I do not your specific situation. Hope it works out for you soon.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The plugin works perfectly but keep showing and repeat the same 4-5 links.

      Any idea why?

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Christy,

      I have just hacked and burned so many apps from my facebook account that I hadn't used for over 6 months.

      This actually looks useful. Thanks for sharing. Tweeting,

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Interesting! I will have to look at this - I love the little buttons that make it easy to share. :) Thanks for sharing this!

    • Cogerson profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      I will be sure to check this new Facebook feature in the very near future....thanks for providing this information....I am sending this hub to my mom....who loves Facebook but does not like all the changes...this hub will help her out greatly....voted up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Christy, what would I do without you? Thanks for your update on this new feature. I am going to look at this soon. Voted up!

    • Mellonyy profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for the great and useful information! You always surprise us with something new and practical. Voted up and shared!

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

      6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Thanks for the headsup on this new tool. We can't ignore Facebook, the mother of all social media sites (although I prefer twitter).

    • Patti Riggs Hale profile image

      Patti Riggs Hale 

      6 years ago from Burdette, Arkansas

      You are really good at explaining and giving social media tips. I think you need to pitch your articles to paying markets. They are that good.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Christy, thanks for the info! You've a real knack for keeping up and writing about social media! WTG, VUMS!

    • GoForTheJuggler profile image

      Joshua Patrick 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks again, Christy - you've always got something new to teach the rest of us. Voted up, useful, and interesting!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      Carly Sullens 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Wow, good to know. Thank you for cluing me in. I am sharing this!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Ok, I tried to look at this and have no clue how to do this, because I am so not tech savvy lol!! But seriously, if and when this starts to work on its own, I will definitely look forward to trying it. You truly are the queen here and very much agree on that!! Voted and shared too!!

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      6 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      Interesting and Useful!! I haven't been on Facebook for ages, however this does sound like an interesting too...Thanks for sharing!!!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hey thanks Bill! Your support is awesome. I now dub myself Queen of... hehe. The plug-in is meant for site owners to add to their pages. Glad to help share information.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are the Queen of Social do you find out about all this stuff? I must be the most clueless human being on the planet. Great job Christy; I'll go take a look at it.


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