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Best WordPress social media plugins




Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you just can’t get away from social media, especially if you want to cement an online presence for yourself or your business. So it’s really a given that you need to link up your site, created with one of the most popular website builders around – WordPress – to those services, thereby helping your fans and followers to spread your content far and wide.

Thankfully, there are a plethora of plugins that are here to help you do just that, and we’ve picked five we like the most for this list.

(Image credit: Sassy Social Share)

1. Sassy Social Share

A very versatile plugin with a wealth of features, at an unbeatable price

Reasons to buy

+Highly customizable

It’s good to start a list with a totally free product, and this is why Sassy Social Share (SSS) made the cut. But free does not always mean good – what does SSS have that sets it apart? For our money, it’s the incredible amount of customisation available, as well as support for around one hundred sharing and bookmarking services, from the well known to the more obscure.

Customisation options include being able to disable the floating bar when viewed on mobile devices, setting said bar at the top or bottom of the page, resizable icons, and access to vector icons, among many others. Having so many options could feel intimidating for newcomers, but the flexibility of the plugin is impressive – especially at that price.

There are a few add-ons available, such as ‘Facebook Comment Notifier’, ‘myCRED Integration’, and ‘Fancy Comments Pro’, and you can add them – for a fee (ranging from $5 to $30 per add-on) – for use on a single site; there are also pricing options for 5 and an unlimited number of sites as well.

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(Image credit: Grow Social Pro)

2. Grow Social Pro

An elegant plugin with simple options

Reasons to buy

+Integrates with Google Analytics
+Easy to use

Grow (formerly known as Social Pug) is a sharing tool designed for elegance. For instance, you don’t have the huge customisation and connection options that Sassy offers you, as the aim here is to simplify the process. You can link up to the most popular social networks (the Pro version offers you more options on that front), and we really liked that you can create custom sharable content, meaning you can set the content of a tweet yourself, rather than just have the post’s title there by default.

The social media buttons can be displayed as a floating sidebar, inline – before or after your post’s content – for maximum flexibility, and you can integrate your shares through Google Analytics.

Regretfully, for those looking for a free lunch, nearly all of the features can only be accessed from the Pro version of the plugin. Going pro will set you back $34 for a single site, and there’s a sliding scale available the more sites you might wish to use it on – up to $180 for 10.

(Image credit: Social Snap)

3. Social Snap

Make social media a snap with this useful plugin

Reasons to buy

+Customization options
+Numerous useful features

Social Snap is a well known WordPress social media plugin which comes with many useful features. Its customisation options aren’t as vast as Sassy, but should be enough to satisfy but the most ardent customisation enthusiast.

You have for instance four options when it comes to choosing your buttons’ shape, and three sizes. You can also alter their colour and add animation. Those buttons can be set to be floating, inline, shown as a sticky bar, or placed in a share hub, amongst others. Like Grow, you have options to control how your post looks when it’s shared.

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Share counters are also available (either overall or individual), and you also have access to integrated statistics and analytics.

As of this writing, there’s currently a promotion: adding Social Snap to one site will cost you $27.30 per year (instead of $39). Three sites, that’s $69.30 (rather than $99). And fifteen sites will set you back $209.30 (as opposed to the usual $299).

(Image credit: Social Warfare)

4. Social Warfar

Manage, place, and customise your social media connections with ease

Reasons to buy

+Powerful customization
+Useful sharing features

Social Warfare is a WordPress plugin created by the good folks at Warfare. There’s a free version available which lets you connect your content to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and StumbleUpon. These buttons can be placed above and below your content, or you can opt to manually put them anywhere you wish. It also comes with a ‘popular posts’ widget (based on how often your articles have been shared), and ‘click to tweet’ quotes. You will also get 6 different Click to Tweet styles, and an option to create your own style via your theme’s CSS.

If you feel the need for more power, you can go Pro – for a price. The Pro licence grants you access to additional social networks, such as Reddit, Tumblr and WhatsApp, amongst others. The ability to pin any image on your post for Pinterest fans is included, as well as more customisation options so you can more easily custom your icon design and placement.

Pro will cost you $29 to add to a site, $89 to place it on up to 5, $139 if you manage up to 10 sites, and $349, for an unlimited number of sites.

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(Image credit: Monarch)

5. Monarch

An elegant social media plugin from Elegant Themes

Reasons to buy

+Powerful features
+Easy to use

We mentioned Elegant Themes when we discussed Divi, their landing page plugin. Elegant Theme’s package includes Divi, Bloom, Extra, and Monarch – which is their social media plugin.

Monarch gives you access to over 35 social networks. You can display the icons in a wide variety of ways, like a floating sidebar, inline, and even have buttons on images and videos, but our favourite is the automatic popup and fly-in boxes. There are a few customisation options for them which let you control when they appear, like for instance, when the reader reaches the end of the article, after a set amount of time, or once they’ve commented.

You have a good amount of customisation of the buttons’ shape, colour and hover effect to make sure they blend in perfectly with any chosen theme. And of course, you have access to statistics.

Getting that plugin – and the other 3 mentioned above – will cost you $89 a year. As an bonus, this subscription lets you apply these plugins on a unlimited number of websites, which is actually pretty good value for money. Even better, there’s also a lifetime access for $249.

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Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers



Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers

With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

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Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

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That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps



Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump



Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.

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