We recently made available JFBConnect v9.0 beta. While we don't normally release beta versions, we wanted to take a cautious approach due to the amount of updates included. This is the first release that includes support for the upcoming Joomla 4, but it has so much more to offer!
JFBConnect v9.0 will be the first release to support Joomla 4. The newest Joomla version streamlines the underlying core code and updates common libraries like jQuery and Bootstrap to the much more modern versions. The admin area has been completely overhauled with a fresh coat of paint as well.
Joomla 4 beta 4 was announced at the end of October. While there's no certainty as to when the final version will be released, things are progressing at a healthy clip now. All new feature development has been baked into Joomla 4 and the project is firmly in bug-squashing mode. We've been actively developing JFBConnect to be compatible with Joomla 4 and are really liking the new feel, features and overall modernization of the Joomla core.
It may sound crazy, but JFBConnect is now over 12 years old. What started with basic Facebook authentication (without profile import, widgets or anything else) for Joomla 1.5 has evolved to:
Along the way, we've presented at multiple Joomla World Conferences, Joomla Days and at local Joomla user group meetings. It's been an incredibly exciting journey, and we wanted to let you know... we're not nearly done yet!
We put together a 5 question survey to help us better understand how you currently use JFBConnect and what you'd like to see in future releases. Please take a minute to fill it out and help making social integration even better for your site.
JFBConnect v8.4.6 is now available. This release is primarily a compatibility update to support upcoming changes in Instagram and Facebook. At the end of October, some older API and widgets for both Facebook and Instagram will no longer work. Specifically:
In addition, there were some other under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes, which you can see in the JFBConnect changelog.
We highly recommend updating to JFBConnect v8.4.6 to ensure your authentication and other social features continue working properly.
This is the last planned version in the JFBConnect v8 series, which was originally launched in 2018. Version 8 has been instrumental for laying the groundwork for future releases. Over the course of v8 development, we've added a new plugin system to easily add more social networks (we now support 15), improved Open Graph and sharing support, more widgets and loads of other improvements and features.
Version 8 was all about breadth.. more features for more networks. Version 9 will be much more targeted with large improvements to specific features, like improved automatic posting (more networks, more options), easier configuration and Joomla 4 compatibility. We'll be posting more about our long-term roadmap shortly. Stay tuned!
Earlier this year, Instagram announced that new client registrations and permissions review would be discontinued for the exsting Instagram API platform in Mid-October 2019. New applications will use the Instagram Basic Display API going forward. Existing clients will continue to work only until early 2020.
JFBConnect v8.3 was just released and is compatible with the required changes for the Basic Display API. If you use Instagram authentication on your site, please read on for more details.
Recently, Facebook has launched a customer chat widget for Messenger. It allows your customers to message directly from your Joomla website to your Facebook Page. By combining interactions from the Messenger App and the plugin on your page, you'll be able to engage with your customer and keep them drawn into your site.
We've been tinkering with the beta version of the widget here on sourcecoast.com and have had some great conversations with users. Some have asked for support, others have asked pre-sales questions and existing subscribers have repeatedly requested to add this into JFBConnect. In all, we've seen how useful a chat widget can be to help get a conversation with your audience going. We heard you! In the newest version of JFBConnect v8.2.3, we've included the Messenger Chat functionality. Continue reading for instructions on how to add chat to your site.
Earlier this year, Meetup announced a major revision to their integration API. The new release, version 3, will be mandatory starting August 15th. JFBConnect has been updated to support all of the changes required for version 3 for a seamless transition. If you use Meetup integration with JFBConnect, please make sure you are running at least JFBConnect v8.2.3.
Even if you don't use Meetup yet, one change to their API to take note of: After August 15th, you'll need to have a Meetup Pro membership to add Meetup Authentication to your site. Before August 15th, you can signup as an "OAuth Consumer" without being a Meetup Pro member and you will be able to continue using Meetup integration for free!
Late last year, LinkedIn announced a new version of their API. Starting May 1st, all integration features with LinkedIn must use the new API. JFBConnect v8.1 was just released and is fully compatible with the required changes. If you use LinkedIn integration on your site with JFBConnect, please upgrade before May 1st to ensure there are no authentication issues on your site. There are quite a few things to be aware of with the new API version as well, so please read everything if you incorporate LinkedIn authentication on your site.
JFBConnect has supported Google authentication on Joomla for more than 6 years. It's one of the most popular networks we support, and so we wanted to update you with changes that have come to the Google+ social network. In March of 2018, Google+ experienced a security breach. Shortly after, they announced that Google+ would be shutting down. The front-end of Google+, where you visit with a web browser, will be turned off in April. The API, used for authentication and pulling in profile information, was formally shut down on March 8th.
Facebook has had an App Review process for a few years. While it's been a little tedious to explain why you want specific permissions, it has also generally been smooth sailing. Submit a request, get approval within a few days (or even hours). Done.
That all changed with the Facebook privacy issues earlier this year. Now, they dig deeper and, because of a large queue of submissions, take much, much longer. JFBConnect has been updated to help with the approval process and to improve your chances of getting approved the first time.
In April, Facebook started making many changes to their platform to improve privacy for their users. Those initial changes, and the reasons behind them, were detailed in our previous blog post, "Facebook is Changing Quickly. JFBConnect is Ready". We will be releasing an updated version of JFBConnect with an incredible amount of updates on Monday, June 4th. We are highly recommending all users upgrade to the latest release to ensure social networking continues functioning on your site.
Due to the amount of changes, we wanted to give a heads up to any administrators on what to be aware of before installation. We want the upgrade process to go as smooth as possible.
Read on for all the details and important information on upgrading.