Posted 1 month ago
by chilkari

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Posting Changes Coming

Recently, Facebook changed the visual appearance of their posts in a way which causes some problems for certain configurations of RSS Graffiti. We’ve been working on a fix to address these issues, and believe we will be ready to roll it out to production on either December 26 or December 27, 2012.

The changes will affect several aspects of the way posting from RSS Graffiti works, so please double check your posts after our deployment to ensure that things are working well for you.

The Facebook changes broke us in several ways:

  1. When using the standard post style, if your post does not contain an image, our posts will contain an empty box where the image would normally appear.
  2. Also with the standard style, the text from your item’s description will be truncated after only a couple of lines, without any kind of “See More…” link or way to see the rest of the text.
  3. In the compact post style, the link to the full story and the source appear in a gray box, but are shifted to the right in a way that isn’t very visually appealing.

To address these issues, we’re planning to do several things differently in the future.

#1 and #3 will simply be fixed. The extra space in both cases will be removed.

However, for #2, we’ve decided to move the description text out of the grey box, and move it up into the text preceding the box. There are several advantages to this:

  1. We can include a larger amount of text, and if it’s too long, Facebook will include a “See More…” link allowing you to see the rest.
  2. We can support some rudimentary text formatting. In the past, we couldn’t do any formatting at all — which would lead to long, run-on blocks of description text. With these changes, we should be able to honor line breaks appropriately.
  3. Most users of RSS Graffiti are trying to drive additional traffic to the original link, and prefer that we automatically truncate text beyond a certain length, which forces the user to follow the link for the full article. Based on this, we’re planning to include a 250-character limit on the description, in order to help drive traffic in the way many of you have requested.

We’re planning to release these changes next week, so if you have comments or questions, please visit the GetSatisfaction thread. You can also find several example pictures with Before/After versions.