The New York Times Is Latest Newspaper to Tightly Integrate Facebook


By Sara Inés Calderón Comment

The New York Times introduced Facebook integration earlier this week, allowing users to more easily share stories to Facebook, and see what stories their friends have already been sharing.

It’s using the social plugins that Facebook launched in April, including the Like/Recommend Button, similar to what rivals like The Washington Post have already been doing. As we’ve been covering, a diverse range of media outlets have reported that the plugins have helped increase traffic.

The integration is opt-in and merges a user’s existing account with their Facebook network; after doing so, the user will be able to see which Facebook friends have recently recommended stories, and lets the user recommend stories to Facebook directly from The Times notably chose to use a closed system whereby users will only see activity from their Facebook friends but not from other Facebook users.

Part of this feature is also to aggregate the most recommended stories into a feed on the Times’ web site. The New York Times created a FAQ section for users with questions about the new set up.

The New York Times’ implementation of Facebook’s features most closely resembles what The Washington Post has done. The Post has both the Recommend button and Share button and a news feed with Facebook friends and most Recommended stories.

The Wall Street Journal’s web site also implements an activity feed, which may include recommendations from your Facebook friends if you’re logged in, as well as a Share option and a Like button.

Other papers have not gone so far. The Los Angeles Times doesn’t prominently display its Facebook integration icon, and it also asks the user to fill out a cumbersome form with information like gender and birthdate. Once the user is signed in, the only difference is being able to Like or Share an item with your Facebook account. USA Today is still promoting its web site login, and doesn’t implement plugins and only allows for Facebook use in sharing stories.