Facebook Has Abandoned Its Official WordPress Plugin

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The official Facebook plugin for WordPress launched in 2012 with the help of engineers from Automattic and currently lists 14 contributing authors. The plugin is active on more than 200,000 websites, but Facebook has not updated the plugin description page to let users know that it has been abandoned.

The Facebook plugin has received no updates since March 2014, and support questions have gone unanswered for approximately a year. The plugin’s star ratings have plummeted to 2.2 out of 5.

facebook-plugin-forums

The official word on the plugin is that Facebook has abandoned it and it is now supported by the community:

The Facebook for WordPress was an officially supported tool to help WordPress developers integrate Social Plugins and publish Open Graph stories.

The plugin is no longer officially supported by Facebook but is maintained by the developer community.

WordPress.com VIP still uses the plugin and has it listed among its plugins and partners but has developed a version tailored to VIP customers. If the plugin is similar enough to the official one listed on WordPress.org, it would be helpful to have some of the changes ported back to the community version.

I spoke with Sara Rosso from the VIP team to inquire about Automattic’s plans for the Facebook plugin. Automattic’s official response indicates that they will not be part of the community support effort:

We’re currently supporting the Facebook plugin for use on the WordPress.com VIP platform, and we’ve made some modifications to it to work with our infrastructure. Automattic was a contributor to the initial version of the plugin (we provided some consultation and support), but there aren’t any plans to officially adopt ongoing development of the plugin as of today.

The plugin provides a complex assortment of features that utilize Facebook’s ever-changing APIs. As such, it’s not easy to support and requires regular updates to keep it current with changes at Facebook. The one-year old version is now riddled with bugs.

Until a new maintainer steps up to adopt the plugin, WordPress users have no choice but to use alternative community plugins, which are linked on the documentation for the official plugin on Facebook.com.

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21 Comments


  1. I think the only way this would thrive outside of Facebook updating the plugin is if it’s on a premium basis (paid for plugin) due to the number of updates you would need to make on a monthly basis. The Facebook API is not a fun beast to tame. But I think they should do the responsible thing and retire it properly.

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    1. Agree! Since they abandoned it the least they could have done is announce it properly and remove it from the plugins repository.

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  2. Ok,

    Am in a rush. Where is the plugin? I can talk to a few people here which that might be right up their alley. This one character who is a database guru++ (appears like he is from the 60’s woodstock!) might be right up his alley. He know the FB API frontwards and back I am told.

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  3. That’s disappointing. The facebook API is a difficult and constantly-morphing beast. Having ongoing support from facebook would have been good.

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  4. The Facebook APK is horrible IMO. I’d run as far away from that plugin as I possibly could.

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  5. Do you mean the FB PHP SDK? or is the apk like an app kit?

    I’ve never messed around with it.

    I took a VERY cursory look at some API stuff from another site. Doesnt look that confounded to me. At least, no more than many others. In comparison to the Windows various API’s it looks simon simple from my cursory glance.

    Alot of webby stuff appears like it might be complicated but the lions share of complicated tends to be larger scale stuff. Like eBay, auctions are not really too complicated but due to numbers of scale and all the support function it becomes a monster. Like Amazon for example. Amazon categories are broken down to stores. Quite independent though share many data structures. Its due to scale. PrestaShop lets say trying to deal with just one Amazon category, handbags, would fold up shop in less than a second due to sessions hitting it. Enterprise applications are always distributed applications or they just cant handle load.

    But in all reality, the old Frogger game on your Playstation one is a more complex piece of software than whatall, Prestashop or Jooml’r. Something like iRacing online, THATS complex.

    Having not messed with facebook coding at all what exactly are WP features people would use?

    Like/Not obviously, posting to and from? Familiarize me with what capabilities WP’rs would want in a plugin / widgets and perhaps can get it done. Then on Friday when we meet at the pub-ski I can run it past em’. Dunno if he’d be interested, perhaps a “Buy him a beer” license as I’m sure he’d like that. LOL.

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    1. The Facebook PHP APK. It looks simple, but whenever I try to do something very specific with it, especially extremely simple things, life becomes a lot more complex than it should be. Also, things seem to change on a semi-regular basis, which makes most of the existing information obsolete.

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  6. Personally, I never used that plugin and I would not care if Facebook abandons that.

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  7. This doesn’t surprise me… like many others pointed out Facebook’s API is a morphing beast. I don’t envy whoever takes this over (if anyone).

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  8. All API’s morph. Its more a matter of respectable lead times. Amazon usually gives a decent lead time when changes are going to come about for example.

    I did speak with one of my pub friends (we usually meet Friday night and slosh down a few Sam Adams) earlier tonight who called me. He was both surprised and not at Facebooks lack of concern over WP installs. He’s an educator at our well known tech college.

    From a marketing standpoint it makes sense and from a technology standpoint it makes sense.

    They are going to get loads more activity through mobile devices since that is the burgeoning market at this point in time. With corporations such as Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft to name a few known entities working towards the drag, drop, configure, associate online publishing it favors Facebook, Twitter etc. to work towards whats coming .vs. whats been or what is.

    All these corporations are aggressive so when you see them make moves and NOT make moves its not just “well we had a thought or forgot about it”. Everything is studied quite intensive when it comes to markets. Facebook isnt ignoring an application that has 20% of installed webs unless they see the future as that dramatically changing.

    Ive said it before, I’d not be surprised in the least if an entity such as Microsoft leads the charge in porting WP to .NET or even buy the company. 20% of market share is a BIG jump start.

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    1. WordPress is an open source project. It can’t be bought. They could look at buying out Automattic to get WordPress.com but that seems unlikely.And a port to .NET doesn’t seem likely as well. Microsoft already uses WordPress as is. Why would they port it to .NET?

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  9. If you were relying on this plugin to connect your existing Facebook community to your WordPress, and you’re looking for other options now that Facebook’s plugin has been abandoned, why not move your community from Facebook onto your WordPress?

    BuddyPress helps you run any kind of social network on your WordPress, with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more. Get it from https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress/, and find support at https://buddypress.org/support.

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  10. I’d suggest people abandon Facebook comments. We offer pretty good cached support for Facebook likes and shares in our Pretty Social plugin which we’ve been offering to our own VIP customers (check http://juancole.com to see how it looks and works). Looks like it’s time to go public. Look for something in the WordPress repository very soon.

    In the meantime if you’d like bulletproof front end comment moderation after your move from Facebook comments, our Thoughtful Comments does the trick.

    Facebook and Google arrogance is totally out of control. Imagine abandoning Google+ and authorship after pushing it for so long.

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  11. Any business entity who ignores facebook or website that ignores what facebook affords them is like saying, “Just ditch Google and Bing and Yahoo in searches”.

    Facebook affords a just enormous resource of users or potential customers to any website and its unique social nature allows for considerable “word of mouth” traffic. Jeannie likes “xxx website” and shares it with her 600 friends, 25 of them share it with theirs. Facebook is responsible for MANY a site getting from floppin around like a fish out of water to flying.

    Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Adobe, Oracle and more are aggressive corporations. In IT they HAVE to be especially now that the World is in competition for web real-estate. China’s Alibaba set off lots of flags in eCommerce for example. Now, Alibaba could literally buy Amazon and eBay with change left over. Last thing I read about them was they project by years end to be approaching Walmarts revenues, the #1 in revenue generation at 370 some odd billion annually.

    I am going to bring the subject up at Fridays get together with friends. One of our “Pubbies” whom is a recent acquaintance to me (last 6 months) is a DB Admin. But he knows the Facebook API upside and down.

    I guess if I can find the time I will look at the FB plugin and see what functionality is there.

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  12. What I don’t understand is why does WordPress keep abandoned plugins available in its directory? That leads to a bloated repository leaving many unnecessary plugins to fumble through looking for the needle in the proverbial haystack for a good viable plugin.

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    1. Hi Kip,

      WordPress.org has taken a lot of steps recently to make the plugin repository more relevant. Number of active installs is now easily available. Plugins more than two years without an update become almost invisible.

      At this point, I’d say WordPress.org are doing a good job with the plugins, though it is certainly true WordPress could improve search, including for their own plugin directory.

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  13. I don’t care for Facebook any longer, so the same about such plugins.

    For about 2 years already I no longer recommed Facebook to clients – and last year I cut my own FB biz page. Currently thinking about deleting my whole profile and account there.

    This whole FB thing never has done anything to my biz, it only costed time and nerves. Twitter has helped me much more for example :-)

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