How to Synchronize BuddyPress and Facebook Activities and Updates Across Both Sites

Unless you’re giving away free beer on your website, chances are that you need the assistance of 3rd party social media to make users aware of interacting with your WordPress community. This week the WordPress community has been bursting with new ways to connect the social networking sites users use most with WordPress sites so that information and interaction can be easily shared across platforms.

Welcome the Facestream plugin for all of your Facebook streaming needs on your BuddyPress site. This plugin allows you to synchronize your user’s BuddyPress activity items with their Facebook posts. It also sends out updates upon forum topic creation and topic reply. Peter Hofman developed this plugin and is also the author of the very excellent Tweetstream plugin, which has been downloaded more than 1,800 times since it was released less than a month ago.

How to Set-Up the Facestream Plugin

There are three simple parts to setting up this plugin. After you download and install the plugin, it will guide you through the steps under the Dashboard >> Facestream settings, but here’s a preview so you’ll know what to expect:

Get an API key From Facebook

In order to interact with Facebook you will need to create an app that communicates from your site to theirs. Go to: http://developers.facebook.com/setup.php and login. Create the new app for your site and then save the API Key and Secret Key to input for the plugin.

Set the Filters (Optional but highly recommended)

Filters allow you to set words that you want the plugin to filter for so it will only show Facebook posts that mention the specific word(s). This keeps the plugin from cluttering up your BuddyPress activity stream and making it completely unmanageable. You can tailor the plugin’s output in the stream to be relevant to your site by including multiple filters.

Set the User Options

This plugin is truly flexible with the following options:

  • Allow users to sync to buddypress.
  • Allow users to sync updates to buddypress.
  • Allow users to sync links to buddypress.
  • Allow users to sync photo’s to buddypress.
  • Allow users to sync video’s to buddypress.
  • Max facebook items import per user, per day.

What I enjoy is the fact that the user has control over all of the settings for his profile. He can link all of his updates, set his own filters, or choose not to activate the plugin at all. This is a great way to get more multi-media items shared across your BuddyPress site using the Facebook API without having to depend on BuddyPress plugins that may or may not be up to date. I tested this plugin with WP 2.9.2 and BuddyPress 1.2.2.1 and it works as advertised, so you can have the confidence to try it out today.