JFBConnect Open Graph Action & Timeline Preview

One of the most requested features we've received for JFBConnect over the last year has been for support for Facebook Timeline events based on Open Graph Actions. With the upcoming release, these actions can be posted automatically and there will be integration with many other extensions. It's all coming in our biggest update to JFBConnect ever, and it's coming soon.

If you don't know anything about Open Graph Actions or Timeline events, or want to learn more about our support, read on for how you can use what Facebook says can have highest click-thru rate of any of their organic promotional tools and how you'll be able to implement them in Joomla.

Timeline? What It Is and How To Use It.

Open Graph Wall Posts in JoomlaSo what is a Timeline event? Simply put, they are entries in a user's Facebook Timeline that occur when a user does something on your site. Instead of a wall post for the user, a Timeline event doesn't require the user's explicit approval for each post. They are intentionally meant for many 'small' actions on your site, which can post regularly as a user reads your content, reviews a product, writes a comment, or does anything else of note on your page.

If you or your friends have used Spotify and see the updates of what you're friends are listening too, you've see Timeline actions.

These Timeline entries (below) appear in the friends 'Timeline Ticker' which immediately promotes the action the user has taken. Additionally, a wall post (above) may be generated which will show to the user's friends.

Open Graph Timeline Entries from Joomla

How Will JFBConnect Let Me Create Open Graph Actions?

With the upcoming release of JFBConnect, there will be an easy system for marking each page of your Joomla site as a type of Joomla Facebook Open Graph Object. Then, you'll be able to create unlimited Actions that can interact with these Objects. So, for example, you can mark all Joomla articles in a specific category as an object of "Article" (see image below). Then, you just need to create a "Read" action and anytime a Facebook user logs into your site and reads your content, an entry will be made in their timeline with a link to that article.

Joomla Content Objects: Easily define the object type and content category to apply too.

Additionally, you can create "Recommend", "Enjoy", "Commented" or other Actions a user can take on that page by clicking a button or through some interaction on the page. These actions can automatically create more Timeline events for the user about the page, indicating that the user is really enjoying interacting with your Joomla content.

Define the actions that can happen to each object

Open Graph Actions in Joomla will still take some configuration to get everything right, but JFBConnect is going to make the process as simple and automated as possible. In addition, you can be assured that all the options are available to you to make sure you strictly adhere to the Facebook Platform Terms of Service which have different restrictions on specific types of actions.

3rd Party Extension Support

With the new release of JFBConnect, we're adding a new plugin group specifically for Open Graph support. With these plugins, you'll be able to easily add support for multiple 3rd party extensions. We'll initially be creating plugins for some of the most popular 3rd party extensions. If yours isn't supported, our plugin system has been designed from the ground up to be simple. With as little as a dozen lines of code, you'll be able to add Open Graph Action support to any extension or feature you want on your site.

Check back next week for information on some of the 3rd party extensions we'll initially be supporting.

We Want to Hear From You

We'd love to hear from you! What are you looking for in Open Graph Actions? How are you planning to use this new promotional tool? What questions or comments do you have? What other extensions would you like to see support Open Graph Actions through our plugin system? Are you an extension developer.. get in touch.

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Alex Andreae

Alex co-founded SourceCoast Web Development in 2008. Based in sunny Florida, SourceCoast develops extensions for integrating your Joomla powered website with popular social networks. He has spoken at more than a dozen Joomla User Groups and Joomla Days, including the Joomla World Conference in both 2012 and 2013. Topics have included social networking for Joomla, running a business around Joomla extensions, and Joomla development.

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