Staying Social in 2013

Not only do most businesses manage social profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but developers have also worked hard to stay connected with consumers by integrating social features into websites, such as “share” and “follow’ buttons. In fact, the Internet is full of extensions, applications, technologies and services that can help customers connect better with brands on the Web.

From plugins that make a site’s comment section more social to apps that display user-generated images, developers have a plethora of options for making websites more social in 2013. Learn more about these social technologies below:

Echo

Echo is a real-time platform offers a variety of tools to drive engagement. For example, the company launched a pinboard visualization plugin in October, which enables brands to display real-time content in a pinboard style layout. Web workers can leverage the plugin to add real-time content such as tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Spotify tracks and even store merchandise.

Building on the pinboard plugin’s technology, application provider Chute recently launched theChute Media Galley app, which is available within Echo’s App Echosystem. Chute Media Gallery enables Web workers to feature real-time photo walls about any topic on their sites. The photo galleries can be customized for a specific hashtag, search term or user account, and the photos can be generated from a user’s local hard drive, as well as photo sites like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter and Instagram.


Telescope

Telescope is an open-source social news application, currently in beta, which provides Web workers with a way to implement real-time social news functionality on their sites. The platform is built with real-time Javascript framework provider Meteor, and it supports real-time updates, post categories, invite-only access, email or Twitter authentication, day-by-day digest view, posting rate limits and notifications.


Socialist

Socialist is a jQuery plugin that helps users aggregate their social media activity into a singular location. Users can combine their social feeds from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Craigslist, to name a few. The social feed is displayed in a Pinterest style layout, which can be integrated into a website. Moreover, the plugin is customizable and comes with its own CSS file that can be modified so that developers can control elements such as the length of headers and text, the number of results and the size of items.


AddShoppers

AddShoppers offers social applications that are designed specifically for Merchants. For example, the company’s social sharing buttons feature Facebook “Want” and “Own” icons, which enable consumers to spread the word about their favorite products and also helps merchants gain additional insights into their customers’ purchasing habits.

Furthermore, AddShoppers offers a rewards app, which merchants can leverage to incentivize purchases, increase engagement and lower shopping cart abandonment. According to AddShoppers, this app can help increase sharing metrics by more than 200 percent.

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