Facebook recently rolled out the ability to embed Facebook posts and photos into web pages.
The upsides of embedding Facebook posts
By embedding Facebook posts, rather than simply including a screenshot of the page, you provide the ability for your site visitors to interact with the page, like it, comment etc. all without leaving your own website. This feature could provide an increase in traffic and promotion to Facebook pages who have their content embedded on other websites.
The types of public posts you can embed from Facebook are:
- Status updates
Image source: Facebook Developers
Some downsides to embedding posts
Embedding Facebook posts into your pages definitely provides a tighter integration with Facebook, but there are some downsides. Unlike Twitter and YouTube, the Facebook post embedding process also requires the user to create their own Facebook application to enable the embeddings. To do this you need to be registered as a Facebook developer.
The page load times will also be slightly slower when embedding Facebook posts, as an entire Facebook page needs to be loaded just to show the embedded post. A simple image with a link would load much faster than an embedded post. There is also a risk that a post or photo may be deleted on Facebook, leaving you with a blank section on your page. A simple image will remain, no matter what happens on Facebook. And finally, if Facebook suffers technical problems and the post can not load, there will be no embedded post to see. Hopefully the upsides outweigh the downsides for most people though and we will see many more embedded Facebook posts over the coming months.
A sooner, simpler way
Most media reports are saying that the Facebook post embedding service is not available to most people yet. But we wanted to embed Facebook posts now and also wanted a simpler way to do it, without having to create our own custom Facebook application for every website. To achieve this, we created the “Metronet Embed Facebook posts plugin” for WordPress, which allows you to simply enter the URL for a Facebook post or photo to automatically embed it via the WordPress oEmbed system.
The plugin is available for download on WordPress.org and you can see a demonstration of it in action below.