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Integrating with Facebook, Twitter, and More

Social media is a powerful tool that allows people to communicate and share thoughts and ideas. Integrating social media features into your site is a no brainer. Liferay Portal offers several different ways for you to integrate with social media.

Integrating with Facebook

Facebook is currently the number one social network in the world with somewhere over 1 billion active users. If you’re trying to build a community on your site, you don’t want to neglect a bridge to that many possible users. With that in mind, Liferay Portal provides a few easy ways for you to integrate your site with Facebook.

Facebook Sign On

Like many websites you may visit, any site running on Liferay Portal can be set up to use Facebook for sign in. This makes it easier for users to sign in to your site, since they won’t need to remember another user name and password. See the article in the Discover/Deployment section for information on using Facebook to sign into Liferay Portal.

Using Your Application as Facebook Applications

You can add any Liferay Portal portlet as an application on Facebook. To do this, you must first get a developer key. A link for doing this is provided to you in the Facebook tab in any application’s Configuration screen. You will have to create the application on Facebook and get the key and canvas page URL from Facebook. Once you’ve done this, you can copy and paste their values into the Facebook tab. Once you do that, your application is available on Facebook.

This integration enables you to make things like Message Boards, Calendars, Wikis, and other content on your website available to a much larger audience (unless you already have a billion users on your site, in which case, kudos to you). If you’re a developer, you could implement your game or other application on Liferay Portal and then publish it to Facebook.

Integrating with Twitter

Liferay Portal also provides integration with Twitter via the Twitter app on Liferay Marketplace. Place the Twitter app on your private dashboard page. Once you register your Twitter username with the app, your tweets are shown in your Activities application along with your activity feed. Make sure that you get the appropriate version of the app for your Liferay Portal instance.

There are two ways to register your Twitter username with the app after you install it. The first is through the Twitter portlet after you add it to your dashboard page. Click the link in the portlet and then enter your Twitter username in the Twitter field listed in the Identification tab under the Social Network heading. The second way to register your username is by accessing your account settings directly and following the same steps.

social-network-accounts.png

Figure 1: Register your Twitter account.

It’s important to note that your tweets are displayed only in an Activities application. To view your tweets, add the Activities application to your user public profile page. Users can then view your profile to see your tweets.

The Twitter feed is updated every five minutes by default, so you need to wait a few minutes after registering your Twitter username for your tweets to show up. This value can be changed through System Settings. Go to Control PanelSystem Settings, select the Other tab, and click Twitter Service. The default value for the Twitter synchronization interval is 5 (5 minutes). Set this value to 1 to refresh the Twitter feed every minute.

Keep in mind that your tweets are shown in order according to the date and time that you originally made them. Therefore, if you haven’t tweeted in a while, then your tweets might be pushed off the Activities feed by more recent activity. You can change the number of items shown in the Activities feed in its Configuration.

Using Social Bookmarks

So far, you’ve learned how to integrate your site with Facebook, but what about the other social networks? There’s an app for that: Social Bookmarks. When this feature is enabled, icons are displayed in a menu or below the content that allows users to share their content to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. This feature is enabled by default in the Blogs portlet, and can be enabled for other asset-enabled portlets through the configuration menu of the portlet or in System Settings.

social-bookmarks.png

Figure 2: Social Bookmarks are enabled by default in the Blogs portlet.

If you want more social bookmarks than come out of the box, be sure to install the Social Bookmarks app from the Marketplace (available for CE and EE). The Social Bookmarks app adds the following bookmarks to the default set of social bookmarks:

  • AddThis (containing 199+ social media sites)
  • Compartir
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Evernote
  • LinkedIn
  • Newsvine
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tuenti
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