Facebook deploy a change inside their API on April 18th, 2019. Since that change all previous versions of plugin before 6.2 will not show share counter (or not update share counter) anymore unless you were using a token based method.
What does this means to me?
The latest Facebook API change also introduces new rules for receiving share values. Here are some of the major changes you need to be aware of:
- Real time share counter update for Facebook is not allowed at this time. If you still need to update the value like in real time you need to change the Share Counter update method to a period of time and select the option to use Client Side Update for Facebook Share Counter. The client side update will work like real time but at the time when Facebook will not return a share counter you will see a cached version.
- Public access to receive share counters in cached mode is limited to approximate 200 connections per hour.
- The public accessible share counter will show a less value than authorized updated share counter (with token). In the public access update Facebook API will return only the number of shares. In authorized with token mode you will receive also as addition the comments count and reactions count.
What changes in settings should I made?
First of all if you are using real time share counter update, than you need to change to a cached update period (the marked field below should say different than real time).
The update period of counter should be set based on the API endpoint for sharing counter update you choose. For public accessible API endpoint #1 you may not be able to receive share values if your update period is less than 1 hour (due to the 200 calls rate limit).
To change the share counter update method, you need to visit in plugin settings Social Sharing -> Share Counters Setup -> Single Button Counter menu. But do not forget that if you decide to switch to API endpoint #2, you should generate and include an application based token (without that token the data will not appear). At this time you does not need to verify the application created for the website and it can run properly even in development mode.
You can also backup the update process if you are using the client side update for Facebook Share Counter option. But be aware that client side update will make an update call inside the client browser to receive the share numbers value.
Which Facebook API endpoint is the correct for my site?
- API Endpoint #1 – this is public accessible endpoint for reading Facebook share counter. It does not require any further setup actions and it is active by default in Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress. This API endpoint is also the one the is active in the client side counter update. As this is a public update method, the number of requests you can send per hour is limited. The other limitation you will have is that this endpoint will return only the number of shares that URL has (read further to see the difference).
- API Endpoint #2 – this is private accessible endpoint for reading the Facebook share counter. To be able to use it you need to create an access token key (find instructions here for creating an application based Facebook access token). This method of updating share counters provide a far more calls that you can send to Facebook for reading the share counter and most important it provides a more detailed information. With this Facebook share counter update endpoint you will receive not only the number of shares for the URL but also getting the number of comments and reactions on the shared information. Here comes the main difference in the share value, which in endpoint method 2 will show a bigger value (because of received additional data). Warning – if you does not fill access token key or you that key is not correct, you will also not return any share value.