Not planned Add ability to share content from Web with XF as easily and nicely as you can do so with Facebook

This pre-sales thread will give you some background: It didn't exactly go well.

So to summarize, we are talking about the ability to share and publish content from the Web with XF and on your XF site as easily and nicely as you can do so with Facebook. In fact, I would suggest even taking advantage of all the same HTML tags Facebook itself uses for that since they are already sitting there.

That could be a game changer, and that kind of thing is even what is needed to counter the reality of how Facebook has been killing forums to begin with. As you can see, WordPress is already doing it with Press This to some degree.
Is this just for forum users making posts? My main concern is for the actual publishers being able to post content that can attract people as quickly, easily and in such a nicely and attractively formatted way that encourages both traffic and discussion as you can with Facebook, such as when you post content to a public Facebook "Page." For instance, see what you can do with WordPress that to some extent emulates that here:

I'm also talking about being able to publish "blog style" as a 100% substitute for something like WordPress if desired, not just create a forum thread.
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Well-known member
Support both ways? If someone has those oembed links enabled the post will be displayed like an Instagram frame or other type embedded object? On their blog etc
So is everyone clear about what I'm suggesting here?

Okay, to summarize:

1. I'm only suggesting a feature for XF site publishers, not for the users.

2. If such a feature is also made useful for users, then that is merely a bonus, but is not the scope of this suggestion.

3. To summarize further, I want to be able to replace WP with XF, just like is mentioned here:

As for WordPress, a lot of people use XenForo in conjunction with WordPress but there are also people who have replaced WordPress with various add-ons for example to add a portal (like a front page / news page) and article systems. These are third party add-ons but there are some high quality and well maintained ones.
4. I want this feature to enable XF site users to publish and share content from the Web in a manner similar to how easily you can share it and how nicely formatted as when you share on FB. The feature should have the ease, speed, and great formatting of FB sharing, but should not require third party sites to have any widget or share button. In that regard, the feature for XF would also be like the "Press This" button that WP provides, and would only be in the browser of the XF publisher who is doing the sharing to his/her XF site. I.e., the best of both worlds.

5. Also, to use a useful analogy, just as we can leverage the decades and decades and decades of existing infrastructure in the world in the form of roads and railroad tracks built over many years, I am suggesting that this XF feature designed for publishers, which would consist of a share button in your browser, make use of the vast number of Facebook meta tags and graphics files that countless people have already put HTML code for in their websites for use by FB. The XF code would first check to see if that is available; if so, use those resources instead of reinventing the wheel; if not, then simply have it do what the FB sharing feature does or the WP "press this" feature does when those resources are not clearly spelled out - all for sharing from the Web to your XF site, not for sharing on WP or FB.

This is a game changer, because no one else is doing it, at least as far as I've ever heard of. The closest comparison is the WP "press this" button, but its action is not that great to me. This is also an opportunity to do more to deal with the reality of how Facebook has been killing forums, and use some of their own weapons of forum destruction in the process.

P.S. This about it: literally just today I was reading in a Facebook group I'm a member of, and one of the people commenting there referred to it as a "forum."

For more background to this issue and other members views here, good idea to also look at this thread at page 10 and then read the very next and two last pages till 12 where the broader issue is also discussed, the issue of the future of forums and how Facebook factors in:

For more background and other members insights on the larger issue of how FB has been "killing" forums, good idea to also look at this and then read the very next and two last pages of that thread where this issue is also discussed, the issue of the future of forums and how Facebook factors in:

As I also posted there, fascinating article is fascinating and while it is ostensibly about journalism, it would seem to also squarely relate to the issue of forums as well:

The Mark Zuckerberg Manifesto Is a Blueprint for Destroying Journalism
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If anyone wants to use XF as "just a forum," they are perfectly free to do that. And if anyone wants more than just a forum, these guys who talk about that in the "future of forums vs. social media" thread are right.

This idea I am advocating can be nothing less and do nothing less than be a significantly big incremental opportunity to make XF even much more appealing than it has been before, with more status, more popularity, more appeal, more versatility, and more enhancement to the bottom line of the company so that it's owners become more successful. Everybody could potentially not only win, but win big, while also doing something about the great forum-eating juggernaut and what has happened to forums outside of the giant social media monopolists.
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Surely it is a forum.
I'm pretty sure everyone already realizes that.

P.S. This about it: literally just today I was reading in a Facebook group I'm a member of, and one of the people commenting there referred to it as a "forum."
I just noticed I have a typo there. "This about it" is supposed to be "Think about it." So in case my point with that is not immediately obvious, do think about it in light of that clarification, though it seems Floyd immediately saw my point typo nothwithstanding. And to spell out the summary version, it's about the huge mountain size implications of regular people even thinking of FB and an FB group as a "forum" to begin with and referring to it as that, and what that means and has meant for the progressive demise of "forums" outside of Facebook all these years. That means us, the people who seek to publish such forums and even make a living from them. "Who needs another outside "forum" when I have all I need with Facebook plus so much more?" Make sense, Mr Lucky? But if those outside forums had more to attract and appeal to people...
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Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
It isn't 100% clear, as yet, what exactly this Suggestion is proposing.

To the best of my understanding you want to see a Facebook type Share button on pages you visit which you can press when you see something you want to share and that will bring up a screen which will allow you to share that content on your own forum.

Of course the biggest obstacle for that is that website publishers have to choose to add the code for the Share button on their page and although many thousands of websites do that for Facebook they are extremely unlikely to take the same steps for a comparatively little known piece of software named XenForo.

So if something like this was implemented then it would have to be done as a bookmarklet (like WP Press This) or a browser extension.

Aside from the fact we're not really in the business of creating browser extensions (although I'm sure we could if we wanted) there's a whole load of implications such as managing the distribution of those extensions on each different browser and of course developing essentially four different versions at least (Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge). Even if it was done as a sort of bookmarklet, browser support for such a thing could be flaky. Notably there would be no support for a majority of mobile users. Overall it doesn't seem useful enough for the amount of effort it needs.

What would be more reasonable, and add-ons and suggestions already exist for it, is a system that can simply take a URL and expand it by reading open graph metadata from the URL. This is something which is seen already on some platforms, including Facebook, and works across all devices.

I can't find the relevant suggestion right now but to be clear I'm talking about something like this (in terms of normal URLs):

Something like that in conjunction with the ability to embed various media from various sources by simply pasting a URL (which has been massively expanded in XF2) simply makes this suggestion redundant and unlikely to be something we would work towards in the short to long term.

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
So if something like this was implemented then it would have to be done as a bookmarklet (like WP Press This) or a browser extension.
Unless I'm mistaken, Press This will create a link from the page and wrap it in hypertext derived from that page's meta description, and inserts it directly into a post.

Which is all well and good if you are too lazy to copy the URL from the URL field and start a new post, and provided the meta description is appropriate for your post. And provided you happen to be logged in to your WP site.

In xenforo a link can automatically create hypertext from the page title, I wonder if an option could be to create it from the meta description (or both) because that might be half way to what is suggested here.

However, I tried Press This briefly, and in the end was editing out the hypertext as so often the meta description of the page was not what I wanted.

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
That's what this add on does:

Not just from the meta description but all of the open graph tags including images. It likely wouldn't be editable either but often the open graph stuff provides some context and the text you write to go along with it provides the rest.

It's this kind of URL "unfurling" that would be much more reasonable and compatible and that's why this particular suggestion hasn't been marked as "Not planned".

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Maybe it could also automatically append a few banalities to the post such as OMG or LOL and a pointless random meme :)
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Well-known member
If you take the link of a single post from a thread. You could use oembed callback? This is standard and sites like Instagram use it.

This would create a frame like Facebook, or Instagram in for example a WordPress blog. And if you use that forum the ability to like a post from the blog.

It may not be major blogs but the WordPress blog of the forum highlighting important posts or whatever.

So WordPress would automatically call:

Https:// format=json&URL=

The service would return that embed code required...