7 Useful Social Applications for your Web Site

The APIs offered by social networking sites can be tricky to work with if you’re not familiar with web development. The good news is that there are some service providers who in-turn provide widgets or easier implementation to add useful social features for your site.

Unfortunately the number of decent service providers is limited and in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key providers.

Social Commenting

DISQUS


DISQUS is a comments platform that helps site owners easily add realtime comment with interactive discussions to their pages. The key to the widespread adoption of DISQUS is its support of social networking sign-ups that provide an easy way for visitors to login, leave comments and share them. It currently handles social services like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and OpenID. DISQUS is available as generic JavaScript snippet or as plugins for popular CMSs.

IntenseDebate


IntenseDebate is a feature-rich comment system for WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and many other blogging/CMS platforms. It allows your readers post comments using services like Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID. They can also sign up for an IntenseDebate profile or simply comment as an anonymous user. For Twitter users, there’s an option that allows them to send a simultaneous tweet when they post a comment. It’s a great way for your commenters to link back to your site and drive new traffic and comments.

Echo Commenting

Echo is a suit of services that offers highly social real-time applications. Their commenting application allows comments to flow into a stream in real-time which in turns drive more engagement and provides an ideal communication channels for commenters. Similar to the other two services reviewed above, Echo allows users to log in with their social networking identity. One of its other convenience is Echo’s ability to pull in social mentions from Twitter and Facebook that eventually get added to the comment stream.

Social Sign-In

Janrain Engage



Janrain Engage
(formerly RPX) helps connect your site to the social web through a robust set of APIs and social widget interfaces. Ultimately, a Janrain Engage solution accelerates your user registration and sign-in process by quickly and easily converting anonymous site visitors into active registered users. In addition, Janrain Engage enables you to import a rich set of profile data and social graphs from your users’ social networks allowing you to gain both deeper insight into your users, keep their profiles up to date, and transform your site into a more social destination.

Gigya


Gigya makes sites social by providing a full solution of social plugins including social login, game mechanics, sharing, comments, and live chat. Its social login solution provides several options for people to connect with your site or app using established identities from more than 24 providers including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, PayPal, LinkedIn, Google and AOL.  Gigya can also access and apply rich profile data including gender, interests and activities.

Social Toolbars

BumpIn SocialBar


SocialBar is a social networking toolbar that sits at the bottom of your page to provide a variety of social and site specific features to your visitors. It combines recommendations from Facebook, tweets from Twitter as well as social bookmarking buttons. There are several other add-ons like social chat, site search and translation that you can include when configuring and generation your toolbar.

Wibiya


Wibiya is another social networking toolbar that allows you to easily increase page views and user engagement, and promote your content via social services. Similar to Socialbar, you can choose from different applications during configuration to boost your web site’s social connectivity.