The Facebook Tools plugin for Movable Type enables you to easily and automatically share your MT entries on Facebook. The plugin pushes updates directly to Facebook immediately when entries are published, avoiding the delays of other services. Future versions of the plugin will add additional Facebook integration features.
Post New Entries to Facebook Within Seconds of Publishing
There are a number of free services out there that will automatically share your entries to Facebook. In most cases, these services work by periodically checking your blog's RSS feed for new entries to post. While this works, it means a time lag or delay before new items get posted to Facebook. The delays get worse and more frequent when these services become popular. TwitterFeed has over 1,000,000 users and NetworkedBlogs has over 300,000 -- because they have so many RSS feeds to check, it can often be a long time before they get around to yours. The Facebook Tools plugin solves this delay problem by pushing the Facebook updates directly from MT, immediately, when the entry is published.
How it Works
The plugin is pretty simple. First you register your Facebook Application (easy to do, takes less than a minute) and then authorize MT to post updates when new entries are published. After that, every new entry gets pushed to Facebook quickly and directly and automatically. The updates include an image from your entries (if present).
Facebook Tools Pro
With Facebook Tools Pro, you get the following extra features:
- Post updates to Facebook Pages instead of user profiles
- Post to both blog and author profiles at the same time. This is great for multi-author blogs, or if you want to post to both your person profile and to your blog's Facebook Page.
- Optional Filters can be used to only share entries with specific Categories or Tags
- Optional customized status message for each entry (the default is the Entry title).
- Option to use a different Facebook App for each blog in your system.
Most required modules are included in the download file for Facebook Tools. Because the Facebook API uses "Oauth 2.0", it must use SSL. As such, one of following are required (plus any dependancies), but may already be installed by default on your server:
If your system doesn't not already have one of these, note that the latter is known to be easier to install.
- Download and extract the zip file, then upload the contents of the 'plugins' directory into the 'plugins' directory of your Movable Type installation (often /cgi-bin/mt/plugins/).
- Upload the contents of the 'mt-static' directory into the 'mt-static' directory used by your Movable Type installation.
- Create a Facebook Application. This is easier than it sounds, and it only few settings are needed here. Choose a name for your App, which can be the same name as your blog. The upload a Logo and an icon image -- of these the icon is more important. (if you want you can use my Logo image and my icon image.) Then click on the "Website" tab on the left, and fill the "Site URL" field with the domain of your admin MT login eg. http://www.mydomain.com. Then save the settings, you can leave the rest of the settings the way they are.
- Copy the "Application ID" and "Application Secret" in the settings for the plugin, then save the settings.
- Return to the blog-level plugin settings and click the Facebook Connect button to authorize your blog to post to Facebook. The Facebook authorization dialog will ask for the necessary permissions, click "Allow". After authorization, if using the Pro version of the plugin, you will be given an option to choose one of your administered Facebook Pages to post updates to.
- Return to the settings once again and click the "Auto-Share" setting to enable auto-posting to Facebook, and adjust other settings as desired.
- (Optional for Pro) Authors can also connect their MT author profile with a Facebook account by choosing the "Facebook Account" item from the left menu of their user profile. Note that entries will be posted to Facebook only if "auto-share" is enabled in blog settings for the plugin.
Get Facebook Tools Pro
Get Facebook Tools
Facebook Tools is free for non-commercial use:
Downloads: <$MTAjaxRatingVoteCount id="1" type="facebookdownloads"$>
As always, comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.
Future versions of Facebook Tools may include other integration features such as integration with Facebook Likes, Comments, and more. Suggestions are welcome.