Social Gallery v2 now ships with Social Gallery Pages turned on by default. This feature is integral to Social Gallery and allows for professional sharing of images across social media. It’s combined with a “fallback URL” system which is a vast improvement from v1.4 and fixes the much discussed issue with comments & like associations.
Rather than adopting a “quick fix” or some engineered (not widely supportable) hashbang system, Social Gallery v2 uses infallible WordPress page creation to professionally answer the question “What URL do my comments & likes get attached to?”
To explain Social Gallery Pages in a more full context I have written this page into a number of questions and answers, a Pages FAQ if you will:
What is meant by “Social Gallery Pages”?
Social Gallery Pages is the new model for dealing with Socially Sharing images in Social Gallery V2.
How do “Social Gallery Pages” Work?
“Social Gallery Pages” work by creating unique meta-data-rich pages for each image that Social Gallery can associate comments, likes, tweets, pins and other Social shares with.
What do you mean “attach likes & shares to”?
The way facebook, twitter, linked in and other social sharing website work is that they like to see the Specific URL which users want to share. In this way when a user likes a web page they are effectively attaching a like to that web pages URL. Because in the case of Social Gallery users are sharing images in pages, rather than the pages themselves there is a need for Social Gallery Pages (which solves this!)
What other benefits are there?
By retaining a full Image Library within Social Gallery there are many other benefits that come along with the introduction of Social Gallery Pages, future versions of Social Gallery will be able to take advantage of this library to offer a wide range of functionality additions. Things like Social Statistics for all of your image’s, and GalleryLikes.com
What URL do my comments & likes get attached to?
Here’s the thing. Social Gallery used to use a sort of “hash index” – It would append a hash at the end of each URL followed by “sg” and the index of the image. This worked for fairly static sites but has its drawbacks and flaws. Rather than hack around this, I threw out this way of dealing with Social Sharing and started afresh. What you get with v2 of Social Gallery is the result. By default you will now get pages for your images with URLS looking like this:
Pretty neat eh? It’s a far more elegant solution than the previous version, which brings me to…
What about my existing likes & comments?
Here’s the hard part – they’ll be lost. Well not lost – but with the new system the previous associations will no longer work UNLESS you leave it in “hash index” mode (which you can do via Settings->General – Disable Social Gallery Pages and Set Fallback URL to “Hash Index”.) I admit – this isn’t ideal. It’s not perfect as a solution, but unfortunately there’s not much option here.
The good news of course is that after moving to Social Gallery v2 and Social Gallery Pages – you’ll never look back. You can finally see all of the chat about a specific image, garner more likes, tweets and shares, and what’s more – it’ll add content to your site, improve the overall share rates of the whole blog AND there’ll be a bunch more kick ass additions to Social Gallery coming out soon that even further leverage Pages (get notified.)
What are the other options? and what’s a “Fallback URL”?
There are a number of ways of tackling the problem which Social Gallery Pages solves and there will always be cases where you may not want to use Social Gallery Pages (most people should.) Furthermore if you have a blog with lots of external images, or some complicated AJAX which stops Social Gallery storing your images in it’s library you may WANT to opt for another URL to attach your likes & comments too.
That’s where the other options come in. First, heres how Social Gallery chooses which URL to use for likes & comments against an image:
If Social Gallery Pages are on it’ll use the images page (if the image is available in the library.)
…Otherwise… if Social Gallery Pages are disabled or the image isn’t in the library it’ll switch to using the “Fallback URL”
So as you can guess from that – by disabling Social Gallery Pages and choosing a Fallback URL we can select any mode we want for associating likes & comments (I still recommend using Social Gallery Pages.)