How to Integrate Social Media Into Your Web App?

Social networks enhance the functionality of your website, ease access to your marketplace, and improve the chances of your product becoming popular or even going viral.

Are you interested in social network integration but wonder how much it costs? Let’s take a look at effective ways to integrate social networks and find out approximate pricing.

Login Button

Forty percent of users don’t want to wait more than three seconds for a page to load. They treat registration in web apps the same way, finding it time-consuming. It’s no wonder that more than 150,000 websites are currently using Facebook Login, namely TaskRabbit, Medium, and Airbnb

 

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

The Facebook Login system allows customers to register for your website with their Facebook accounts, pulling profile and social graph information. During the signup process, users don’t need to enter information, because the system pulls personal information from Facebook.

Facebook still remains the king of social media in terms of logins. Why do most websites use Facebook to sign up their users? The two biggest reasons are the convenient and efficient tools it provides and its vast client base: more than two billion monthly active users.

Nevertheless, you can also register users via Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WeChat, and other services as well. The image below shows the login market share by means of different social networks.

 

 

[Image source: WorldWebTechnology]

 

Logging in via a social network simplifies registration and helps your users save time. Moreover, it allows you to gain more information about your customers. You can gather data about their interests as well as demographic attributes such as age, sex, education level, marital status, occupation, and so on. This data can help you better customize your products and services.

If you want to integrate a social network login button, you need to use both the backend and frontend technologies below:

Backend:

  • OAuth 2 protocol for authorization and receiving security tokens;

Additionally, you need to register your application with the social network you’ve chosen in order to get settings for the API.

You may alternatively adopt a universal tool that allows you to use several social networks at once, for instance the Socialite package for PHP.

Challenges: While developing a database, you need to keep in mind that different social networks may send back different data. For instance, Twitter doesn’t show emails of its users. Be ready to ask your users for their emails directly if you want to add users who sign up via Twitter to your newsletter list.

Frontend:

  • To develop the frontend part of the Login button in conjunction with the backend, you can use HTML and CSS to display the button on the screen.
  • You may also adopt tools provided by JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React, or js. You don’t need to do anything on the backend in this case.

We’ve examined the main technologies you may use to implement a Login button by dint of social media. But how much does this cost? Check out the table below. This table indicates the time you need to implement login via social networks and how much it will cost. To calculate approximate expenses, we took an average rate of $35 per hour.

 

Implementation Costs for Login via Social Networks 

Social network

Backend (hours)

Cost (USD)

Frontend (hours)

Cost (USD)

Total hours

Total cost (USD)

Facebook

14–24

$490–840

5–9

$175–315

19–33

$665–1,155

Google+

15–25

$525–875

5–9

$175–315

20–34

$700–1,190

Linkedin

14–24

$490–840

5–9

$175–315

19–33

$665–1,155

Twitter

18–27

$630–945

5–9

$175–315

23–36

$805–1,260

Multiple networks

30–50

$1,050–1,750

10–12

$350–420

40–62

$1,400–2,170

Social Sharing

Do you want to increase the popularity of your web app? Use the Like, Share, Send, Quote, and Save buttons. These buttons help visitors spread the word about your website content. This is a simple and efficient way to increase the number of reposts and get a new audience among your users’ friends.

Like Button

The Like button has two main functions: it allows users to “like” content in your web app and share that content on social networks in one click. When a user clicks the Like button in your web app, a story appears in their friends’ news feeds with a link back to your website.

You can integrate social sharing buttons only on the frontend; you don’t have to do anything on the backend. For instance, you may apply the Like Button Configurator to add a Facebook Like button.

This configurator gives you four layout options:

 

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

You can also choose a size and action type: Like or Recommend.

 

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

Challenges: There are two types of applications: single-page applications (SPAs) and multi-page applications (MPAs). A single-page application is an app that works in a browser and doesn’t reload pages during use. Multi-page applications render pages with every change, such as to display updated data or submit data back to the server. You may have problems with SPAs. Why? Let’s first examine the situation with an MPA. When a user clicks a Like button, a Facebook robot reads the HTML and looks for special meta tags (OpenGraph tags) that describe what kind of information the user is sharing: an image, a description or title, or something else.

[Image source: The Open Graph protocol]

 

Based on this information, the Facebook robot creates a post that’s visible on the Facebook news feed. With an SPA, the Facebook robot sees an empty page. This is why you need to pre-render your content on the server. You can pre-render with the React library, for example. Another way is to detect a social network robot and supplement the template with necessary meta tags.

The same applies to Share, Send, Share Quote, and Save buttons.

Share Button

The Share button gives your visitors the opportunity to add a personal message before sharing on timelines, news feeds, in groups, or with their friends, for instance via Facebook Messenger.

 

[Image source: WordPress]

 

You can add different attributes to posts, such as hashtags, images, and descriptions

 

[Image source: Screenshot of TechCrunch post on Facebook]

 

In Pinterest, the Save button also accomplishes the sharing function. Even if you don’t use Pinterest, I bet you’ve seen this small red button while searching for items to buy on Etsy.

 

[Image source: Pinterest]

 

There are several ways to implement a Share button in your web app:

Share Quote Button

The Share Quote button lets your users cut a piece of text from your website and add it to their share to emphasize their story.

How does this work? When a user highlights part of the text on your website, the Share Quote button with the Facebook logo appears. Then a user clicks it and Facebook pastes the highlighted text into a new post and includes a full preview of your web app.

[Image source: GitHub]

 

To include a quote sharing functionality on your page, use the Facebook Quote plugin. You don't need to implement Facebook login or request any additional permissions to use the Facebook Quote plugin.

Save Button

With the Facebook Save button, your users can save services and goods from your website to a private list on Facebook to buy later, share with friends, or get notifications about price cuts, for example. Hence, you can entice visitors back even if they don't buy an item the first time.

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

To implement the Facebook Save button on your website, you can use the Facebook code configurator.

Send Button

Facebook also offers a Send button. The Send button sends content privately: visitors can choose content they like and send it directly to one or more friends in a private message.

 

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

To integrate the Send button, you can use the Facebook Send button configurator.

 

Implementation Costs for Social Sharing

Button type

Social network

Frontend (hours)

Cost (USD)

Like button

Facebook

3–5

$105–175

Share button

Google+

3–5

$105–175

Facebook

3–5

$105–175

LinkedIn

3–5

$105–175

Twitter

3–5

$105–175

Pinterest

3–5

$105–175

Several

6–8

$210–280

Share Quote

Facebook

4–6

$140–210

Save button

Facebook

3–5

$105–175

Send button

Facebook

3–5

$105–175

 

Comments

Do you want to fire up your users? Add comments to your web app. Comments spark interest and enable real-time conversations. You may ask, “Why do I need to use comments via social networks if I can simply create my own comment system?” We’ll try to answer that question with a Facebook example.

Facebook allows direct sharing to Facebook news feeds so more people will know about your product. Moreover, you can get deeper insights about visitors who read and comment on your website, such as location, job title, contact info, and other relevant information.

The Facebook commenting system lets visitors comment on your website content using their social network accounts. Users can get access to the whole list of comments or address a comment to a specific user. They also can sort comments by time or social ranking.

 

 

[Image source: Facebook for developers]

 

The Facebook Comments plugin combines built-in moderation tools. You can approve comments, hide them, and report spam.

 

 

 [Image source: Facebook for developers]

As an alternative to Facebook, you may also apply the Google+ commenting system.

 

[Image source: Quora]

 

To include social comments on your website:

 

Implementation Costs for Comments via Social Networks

Social network

Frontend

Cost (USD)

Google+

3–5

$105–175

Facebook

4–6

$140–210

 

Embedding

The embedding function of social networks covers the following areas: embedded posts, embedded video and video players, and embedded Tweets and timelines. Let’s take a closer look at each to understand the benefits they can bring to your web app.

Embedded Posts

With embedded posts, you can simply add to your website any public post made by a page or person on a particular social network. Unfortunately, you can adopt only one plugin for one social network at once: if you use the Facebook embedded posts plugin, you can embed only public posts from Facebook pages.

Let’s imagine that you’re the content creator for the Tiffany & Co. website and your company isn’t well-known yet. You can scroll the official Facebook page of Tiffany & Co. and choose, for instance, the next post to add:

 

[Image source: Facebook]

 

This way you’ll  show social proof of your company: your users will check out the Elle magazine, see your jewelry and think that indeed it’s stunning.

Aside from additional advertising, you may also use embedded posts to support content with bright examples, such as a real-time post instead of screenshots.

To add Facebook embedded posts, use the Facebook Code Generator.

To include Google+ embedded posts, you need to locate your post on the Google+ home page, then click on the post you want to embed, get code to copy, and paste it into the place you want to embed the code within your website.

 

[Image source: Google+ Platform]

Embedded Video and Live Video Player

The Facebook embedded player lets you add either Facebook videos, including Facebook live videos to your web app.

Embedded videos can work as brand marketing tools encouraging traffic to your website. What's more, websites using videos earns higher ranks from Google's algorithms.

[Image source: Facebook for Developers]

 

To include the Facebook embedded player:

Embedded Tweets

With embedded Tweets, you can add the most interesting and relevant content on Twitter into your web app, such as unique photos, videos, and interactive link previews.

 

[Image source: Twitter Developer Documentation]

 

Embedded Tweets help you:

  • Build reputation: you find Tweets in which people share their good experiences;
  • Prove your statements: cite sources and quotes;
  • Encourage Retweets of your media;
  • Promote an event connected to your product or service: how off Tweets from an event in progress.

 

 

[Image source: Uber]

 

To implement embedded Tweets in your web app:

  • Copy and paste the embedded Tweet markup generated on a Tweet's detail page;

Embedded Timeline

Do you want to add multiple Tweets to your website in a compact, single-column view? Use Twitter embedded timelines. The embedded timeline lets you show your web app visitors some recent Twitter updates including your own tweets, favorites, Twitter lists, and any search query or hashtag. Note: you can embed only public Tweets, not protected ones.

Embedded timeline also allows your users to reply, Retweet, and add favorite tweets directly from your page.

 

 

[Image source: Twitter Developer Documentation]

 

To embed a timeline, visit publish.twitter.com and use the embedded timeline widgets.

 

Implementation Costs for Embedded Elements

 

Social network

Embedded element

Frontend

(hours)

Cost (USD)      

Google+

Embedded posts

4–6

$140–210

 

Facebook

Embedded posts

3–5

$105–175

Embedded video player

4–6

$140–210

Twitter

Embedded tweet

4–6

$140–210

Embedded timeline

4–6

$140–210

 

Some other factors affecting the price

We’ve broken a trail through the world of social networks, determining the main methods of social integration and approximate costs of such integrations. But this list isn’t exhaustive, and you may spend more or less money depending on your requirements, such as:

  • Type of website: informational, small business, corporate, ecommerce, database-driven, or web application;
  • Number of pages;
  • Complexity of web app architecture;
  • Database integration complexity;
  • Number of users you want to engage;
  • Traffic and hosting features (the quality of your host can affect page loading time);
  • The cost of tools you use;
  • Ongoing website maintenance; and so on.

Do these functionalities boggle your mind so that you can’t make a choice? We’ve prepared a minimum set of integration elements that you may apply to your web app.

 

Implementation Costs for Minimum Set of Social Integrations

Social Network

Integration Element

Frontend

(Hours)

Cost (USD)           

 Facebook

Login Button

14–24

$490–840

Share Button

3–5

$105–175

Send Button

3–5

$105–175

Comments

4–6

$140–210

 Twitter

Login Button

18–27

$630–945

Total Cost

42–67

$1,470–2,345

 

We’ve examined diverse features of social media integration and created a detailed description that will help you evaluate your budget and choose the best practices to enrich the functionality of your web app and increase the chances of its popularity. And remember that you should focus on a stable foundation that can be extended with future updates.

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