Are you looking for an easy way to share your social networking updates with your blog readers and visitors? Since most of us are members of various social networking sites, a social stream is one of the best ways to show off all of your updates and shared content in an organized manner.
A social stream, often referred to as a lifestream, is a single stream of posts and updates from various social networks. It displays your status updates along with items that you’ve shared like links, images, and videos. Some social streams even display your social interactions with others that you’re connected to.
Today I’m going to share 6 WordPress plugins that can provide you with a social stream on your WordPress blog. Some of these plugins come in the form of a sidebar widget, while others give you a shortcode to use on a post or page of your blog.
Let’s take a look at them.
Feed Them Social lets you create three different types of social feeds: Instagram, Facebook Group, and Twitter. In the settings, you’ll need to generate shortcodes for the feeds that you want to use. You can then add those shortcodes to any page or post on your blog; you can use as many shortcodes as you want on that post or page.
So if you wanted to display your Facebook and Twitter feeds on a page called “Social Stream,” you’d generate the two shortcodes and then add them both to the one page. Feed Them Social is really easy to set up and the feeds are really simple – not much formatting. It’s great for anyone that is looking for just a basic social stream for their blog.
Social Media Mashup is a widget that you can add to your blog’s sidebar. It supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, YouTube and custom RSS feeds. Just choose your preferred sources and Social Media Mahsup will combine them into a single social stream, and display them on your blog.
In the plugin’s settings you can also choose which set of feed icons to use in your social stream; there are three different styles to choose from.
RebelMouse is another widget, much like Social Media Mashup. However, it goes a step further and gives you the option to turn any post or page into a social stream. So you can either use the included widget, or you can use a shortcode on one of your posts or pages. Your visitors will even be able to share your posts on Facebook and/or Twitter – right from your blog.
Lastly, you can also change your blog’s home page so that it displays your RebelMouse stream. Not only is this a great way to change up the look of your blog, but it makes your blog a lot more social. In order to use RebelMouse on your blog, you’ll need to sign up for a free account on their website. RebelMouse supports Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
WordPress Social Stream is a beautiful, premium plugin that supports 15 social networks and includes 60 feed options. It gives you a single stream for all of your social network updates, and can display them in two different formats: a rotating feed or network wall. Much like RebelMouse, your visitors will be able to share your posts on Facebook and/or Twitter (from your blog).
With Twitter posts, visitors also have the option to reply, retweet, and favorite your tweets. Your visitors can even filter your social stream by social network. There are many options included with this plugin, so that you can customize your stream and make it unique to your blog. WordPress Social Stream definitely stands out among the rest of the social stream plugins, and it’s just $14 for a regular license.
The Lifestream plugin can display your social networking updates, shared photos, and shared videos on any post or page; it supports over 50 different sources like Twitter, YouTube, Delicious, and RSS feeds. It stores your entire feed history, not just a week or two.
You can also change up the style using custom CSS stylesheets, which is nice because the default look is a bit plain. If you want to extend Lifestream even more, be sure to check out the plugins page on their website. The Lifestream plugin is very similar to Social Timeline, another WordPress plugin that displays your updates from various social networks.
Finally, we have WordPress Social Timeline, another premium plugin for creating a stylish social stream in a timeline format. WordPress Social Timeline includes a widget, but you can also add it to any post or page on your blog. You can pull in posts, images, and videos from social networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vimeo.
There are different styles to choose from and you can also choose to display the icons for each social network, right in your stream. Although users can’t share your posts, there is a permalink for each post so that they can go to the original source and interact with it from there. Visitors can filter sort your posts by social network and even change the layout (if you enable it in settings).
What Do You Use?
Do you have a social stream or lifestream on your blog? If so, do you have an entire post or page dedicated for your social stream, or are you just using a widget? Which plugin are you using?
Creative Commons image courtesy of SteveD
Disclaimer: All opinions and recommended plugins in this post are solely mine, and not those of anyone else at ManageWP.