Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Disqus to integrate with Facebook Connect

Image representing Disqus as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase, source unknownAs you know I have been wondering lately how sites like Disqus (that I use on my blog for comments) and Intense Debate will adapt to Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect -
I also wonder how interactive blog comment sites like Disqus and Intense Debate will be affected as this becomes more widely available.
With 130+ million users on Facebook it will be difficult for third-party commenting plugins like Disqus to compete. Especially as Facebook Connect provides another form of distribution for blogs by means of sending activity back to the newsfeed. Being able to publish comments back to Facebook is definitely appealing and functionality that I have embraced by commenting on sites integrated with Facebook Connect.

Well this evening it looks like Disqus has wisely chosen to integrate with Facebook Connect, a blog post from CEO Daniel Ha states that 'Disqus will enable all websites with Disqus-powered comments to easily integrate with Facebook Connect.' What this means is that -
  • Commenters can login using their Facebook profiles
  • Comments post to the Facebook news feed
Firstly if you don't already have a Facebook Platform API key for your site, create an application with the Facebook Developer application -
  1. Go to http://www.facebook.com/developers/editapp.php to create a new application.
  2. Enter a name for your application in the Application Name field.
  3. Click the Optional Fields link to see more entry fields.
  4. Keep all of the defaults, except enter a Callback URL. This URL should point to the top-level directory of the site which will be implementing Facebook Connect (this is usually your domain, e.g. http://www.joedawsons.com, but could also be a subdirectory).
  5. If your site is going to implement Facebook Connect across a number of subdomains of your site (for example, foo.example.com and bar.example.com), you need to enter a Base Domain (which would be joedawsons.com in this case). Specifying a base domain allows you to make calls using the PHP and JavaScript client libraries as well as get and store session information for any subdomain of the base domain. For more information about subdomains, see Supporting Subdomains In Facebook Connect.
  6. You should include a logo that appears on the Facebook Connect dialog. Next to Facebook Connect Logo, click Change your Facebook Connect logo and browse to an image file. The logo can be up to 99 pixels wide by 22 pixels tall, and must be in JPG, GIF, or PNG format.
  7. Click Submit to save your changes.
  8. Take note of the API Key, you'll need this shortly. [Source]

Then navigate to the Disqus settings page and enter the Facebook API key into the field for Facebook Connect. This will then turn on Facebook Connect support for your site when it’s ready. Disqus will then begin enabling Facebook Connect for sites with API keys in place. They plan to have this available for everyone by the end of the year, I will update this post when this has been enabled for me!

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