Effective August 1, Facebook will no longer permit third-party tools to automatically post to “Profiles.”

Facebook is sunsetting its API which allows users to automatically post updates to their “Profile Page” or News Feed. Only the Facebook API allowing automatic posts to Facebook Pages, will remain.

This technique is used by thousands of WordPress blogs, including hundreds, if not thousands, of law blogs. WordPress blogs mostly accomplished this through the Jetpack plugin owned by WordPress.com’s parent company, Automattic.

LexBlog platform customers will not be affected. We have steered clear of the Jetpack plugin and the protocols for making the connection to enable automatic posting as it posed a security risk to our customer’s sites.

LexBlog is also of the strong belief that posting on social media varies by medium. Personal posting results in greater engagement because of its authenticity.

Nothing Facebook is doing prevents bloggers from sharing their blog posts on Facebook. Like anything worthwhile in life, it’ll require a little personal touch, such as including a note, an excerpt or the entire post on Facebook.

As way of background, here’s the email WordPress.com users received this morning.

We wanted to update you about an upcoming change Facebook is introducing to their platform, and which affects how you may share posts from your Jetpack-connected website to your Facebook account.

Starting August 1, 2018, third-party tools can no longer share posts automatically to Facebook Profiles. This includes Publicize, the Jetpack tool that connects your site to major social media platforms (like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook).

Will this affect your ability to share content on Facebook? It depends. If you’ve connected a Facebook Profile to your site, then yes: Publicize will no longer be able to share your posts to Facebook. On the other hand, nothing will change if you keep a Facebook Page connected to your site — all your content should still appear directly on Facebook via Publicize. (Not sure what the difference is between a Page and a Profile? Here’s Facebook’s explanation.) You can review and change your social sharing settings by heading to My Site(s) → Sharing.

If you’ve previously used Publicize to connect a Facebook Profile to your website and still want your Facebook followers to see your posts, you have two options. First, you could go the manual route: once you publish a new post, copy its URL and share the link in a new Facebook post. The other option is to convert your Facebook Profile to a Page. This might not be the right solution for everyone, but it’s something to consider if your website focuses on your business, organization, or brand.

While Facebook says it is introducing this change to improve their platform and prevent the misuse of personal profiles, we believe that eliminating cross-posting from WordPress is another step back in Facebook’s support of the open web, especially since it affects people’s ability to interact with their network (unless they’re willing to pay for visibility) We know that this might cause a disruption in the way you and your Facebook followers interact, and if you’d like to share your concerns with Facebook, we urge you to head to their Help Community to speak out.

Again, if you or your law firm has a “Facebook Page,” as opposed to or in addition to your personal Facebook, you may still automatically post your blog posts there. Pages, though, tend to get much less engagement – unless you are paying to get seen.