How to effortlessly inject your content into Facebook, using Ning

In a previous post I discussed Facebook‘s new platform approach, and described it as a turbocharged way to inject new content and features into Facebook from external services.

And I described at length some of the complexities involved in doing so, including scaling.

Tonight, my own company, Ning, released a new service that makes it trivially easy to inject your content — videos, photos, and music — into Facebook in such a way that:

  • Facebook users can add your content to their profile pages with one click.
  • Your content can then spread virally throughout the Facebook user base, and beyond.
  • Your content is branded with your name and/or logo, and that branding persists no matter where your content goes, on or off Facebook. Users who click on your name/logo go to the home of your content, not some other service.
  • You barely have to do anything — everything happens automatically, and everything is run from our servers, so you don’t need to worry about performance or scaling even when lots of people are looking at your content.

Enough with the bullet points — here’s a screencast:

In a nutshell, it works like this:

  • Create a social network for the topic of your choice on Ning — it’s fast, easy, and free, and other people have already done it more than 65,000 times. This gives you a space in which you can upload your content — videos, photos, and music.
  • Upload away.
  • Activate our automatic Facebook support as shown in the screencast — here’s a full-screen version of that same screencast to make it really easy to follow along. (Once you have a social network on Ning, activation of this feature happens from the Facebook Promotion link from your Managetab.)

That’s it — your videos, photos, and music can now be introduced into Facebook by any user and spread throughout Facebook and beyond.

As far as we’re aware, this is the first time anyone can create an application on Facebook without knowing any code or setting up an application on your own servers — and really shows off the flexibility of the Ning platform.

Let’s see it in action — here’s what a social network on Ning looks like, in this case a Smashing Pumpkins fans social network called Pumpkins Central. You’ll see that this social network includes video that a user has uploaded.

Here’s how a user adds that video to her Facebook page — this should look familiar, this is just how users add any application on Facebook today:

And here’s a user’s Facebook page with that video embedded — notice that thePumpkins Central branding is maintained:

When the user — Kyle in this case — clicks on the Pumpkins Central logo in the video player, he will go to the origin page for the video on the Pumpkins Centralsocial network — not some other random place.

A live example: assuming you already have a Facebook account, go here to add a photo slideshow from Kyle Ford, a product manager at Ning.

Check it out, and if you have any questions or issues, please join us at the Ning Network Creators social network or visit Ning Help.

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