Facebook Extension for Newsletter

The Facebook Extension for Newsletter is a module which enables subscriptions to your newsletter via the Facebook Connect technology. Users with a Facebook account can subscribe with almost one single click.

You can get it on downloads page and install it following the instructions on the Newsletter Extension Installation page.

Setup, the hard part of creating a Facebook app

To use the Facebook Connect system you must create a Facebook app. Don’t worry, no coding required, only a simple configuration on Facebook side.

To start go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps and use the button “create new app”.

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Facebook will ask for which platform you need an integration app, choose “www” (web).

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You will be prompted to give a name to your new app, choose whatever you want. For example your site name.

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Add your contact email and a category.

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Pressing “create app id” you’ll be sent on a panel with JavaScript code to be copied in the website. IGNORE IT. Just scroll down and insert you site address like in the picture below:

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Pressing “next” you completed the app creation. Note in the page a link that brings you to your new app dashboard where there are the codes you need to integrate Newsletter with Facebook. Anyway you can access the app detail just reloading the page https://developers.facebook.com/apps which should list your new app.

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In the dashboard of your app there are the app id and the app secret the two codes you need to copy inside the Facebook Extension configuration panel.

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Please not that Facebook changed this procedure every few months, but the basic concepts should remain the same even if the screens would be different.

How to offer the Facebook sign up

Nothing happens on your subscription form when this module is active but a new tag will be available. The tag is {facebook_url} and you can add it on subscription page text or on widget text and it will be replaced by an URL which starts the subscription via Facebook.

I used a tag so you’re free to put it where you prefer (on texts managed by Newsletter), but on extension panel the final URL is available if you want to use it directly everywhere else.

Another tag is the {facebook_button} tag, which generates a link that looks like a blue button. This tag should be more immediate to use, but less felxible.

An example of insertion of that tag on the subscription page: select a piece of text which will be the link to subscribe with Facebook, use the link toolbar button and insert as “href” the tag {facebook_url}.

Of course you can add that link around an image and may be on future releases there will be some options to directly add a graphical button.

 

On widget configuration, since there is not a visual editor, the code to create a link is:

<a href="{facebook_url}">Sign up with Facebook</a>

Easy!

The tag does not work in the middle of a post content, of course, but you can use the direct link generated by the tag. For example on my site the link generated is:

http://www.thenewsletterplugin.com/wp-content/extensions/newsletter/facebook/login.php

so in your site it will look like:

http://www.youdomain.com/wp-content/extensions/newsletter/facebook/login.php

but it depend on how and where the blog is installed. The easy way to find how the link looks like is to add the tag on the subscription text or in the subscription widget and copy it or copy it directly from the help tab in the configuration page.

Welcome email or not?

Since Facebook already certified the email address, we do not need to force a double opt in. This is a big advantage over a regular subscription but remember that many users don’t like to use their Facebook account to “connect” to sites, so be sure to always offer the standard subscription alternative.

So when a user subscribes with Facebook it will be stored as confirmed and he should receive the welcome email. If you prefer to not send that email, you can deactivate it on Facebook module configuration. If enabled the standard welcome email will be used.

Pay attention: if you use the welcome email to deliver access to reserved contents, be sure to send it!