The Exciting New Features in Open Social
We have focussed on improving your experience on our key content creation forms as well as empowering you and your users with amazing features like photo albums, following tags so users are informed about related content, and many more features.
Take a look at what we have in store for you below.
Re-imagined content forms
We're trying to improve the overall experience for content forms by focusing on consistency across different content types, improved form structures, and better grouping of fields.
The focus has been on our Book, Page, Event, Topic & Flexible group forms.
What you and your users will experience when creating or editing content after this release is:
- Similar fields are placed in the same cards across different content types.
- Some fields were placed in different cards while they are better off being grouped together.
- Your content configuration options are not shown in tabs at the bottom anymore, rather in a collapsed fieldset. This improves the mobile experience and ensures you can easily create content without being distracted by all these options.
Make flexible groups, our main group type
We have focussed our efforts on improving the stability and consistency and flexibility of our flexible groups, the end goal is to have this group type as the only type available. So we need to make sure this one group type can handle all your needs.
First of all, we noticed flexible groups were very overwhelming and confusing.
The visibility and join methods weren't transparent enough on what it meant for a group, it's members, and content. All the options made it hard to understand what was necessary to use a flexible group in the way you need. To overcome this unclarity we went back to the drawing board to look at the user experience of flexible groups and improved it on several steps.
Our flexible group creation form has a brand new design.
Like the content form improvements, we have ensured that a flexible group also looks and works consistently with the rest. But we have done more in the redesign because this group requires some additional configuration in order to accommodate your needs.
Access Permissions - All visibility settings in one place.
We have introduced a new section in our group form called Access Permissions which provides you all the configurations that can help you manage the permissions to access and join the group and its content. These options and tips will guide you to choose the best possible settings.
Added a new group visibility field
We now allow you to specify the visibility of the group itself, not just it's content, so you know who can see your group, find it in the overviews and on the search. We have also added a default selection for the content visibility and join methods once you made your group visibility choice. So with this in place you can also decide to hide your flexible groups for non-members as if it was a secret group (as shown in the image above).
Tooltips - understanding the visibility options becomes easy
We have added a new so-called tooltip for all the access permissions related options.
This tooltip is a great visual tool, which when you hover over it gives your more information. In this case about all the access permission related options, we provide to help you and your users create a group (you can view the tooltips when hovering over the question mark).
Added a new group type field
We noticed the former group types being closed, open, public etc did not really define the type of group you were looking for. Much like the Event and Topic type we have now provided a new Group type field. Which allows a site manager to decide what different types of groups there are in your community. Localized, organizational, you name it, you can add it.
We have made this optional by default, if you want to enable it you can find it under “Group settings” or check out this manual that will help you set this up.
For more information on how this works? Have a look at our manual on community talks for groups.
Share your photos in an album
One of the bigger items on our roadmap was for us to work on the media representation within your communities. The feature that rolled out of this is our brand new Album feature which contains new ways to create visually appealing content.
Add an Album
You can easily add a new album from the menu, this will ensure you’ll create a personal album. However we also support adding albums to a group, you can go to the group album page for that.
Add multiple images to a post
We now allow you to upload more than one image to a post using a brand new widget. You can also now directly add them to a brand new album, whether that is a personal or a group album it doesn’t matter. For more information on how to add multiple images on a post, check out the post guide.
Find albums you created
In the account dropdown menu, which you see once you click on your profile icon on the top right, you’ll be able to go to all your albums directly using the new “My albums” link. In the future we will ensure you can also search for your albums.
For more information on how this works? Have a look at our manual on community talks in create albums with Images.
Engage with content related to your interests
Open Social has the ability to add tags to content and groups for a while now. Tags give the opportunity for users to create categorized content, connecting them around subjects or topics of their choosing.
This allowed users to easily find related content connected to these categories on the search and overviews by filtering on these categories or tags as we call them.
But with the new follow taxonomy feature your users are able to follow these categories of interest. This allows them to get notified, notified about newly created content connected to the tags they follow, instead of having to search for them actively which is a great boost for engagement.
So what did we actually accomplish in this release:
Allow a user to follow and unfollow a tag
If you now visit a detail page of content tagged, you still see the tags in the sidebar. But when clicking on one of these tags, you’ll get prompted with a new banner where you can decide to follow (or unfollow if you are already following) this tag.
Let users directly navigate to an overview of tagged content
Part of this banner is also to allow users to directly navigate to an overview which lists all the content tagged with this term. We are using the search for this and we have included a new top banner for you so you can easily decide to unfollow or follow from there as well and of course you can use the sorts and filter to narrow down the results. Once you click see related content as shown in the image above, your overview will appear.
Notify users about newly created content
We can now actively inform your users about new content added which could spark their interest. We will add a new activity in the stream activity stream and we’re also able to inform a user by e-mail.
Show an overview of tags a user is following
Under the account menu, when clicking on the profile image on the top right, a user is able to see a link to an overview of tags they are following. This provides them with an overview to easily keep track of everything tag related.
Filter items relevant to a specific tag on the stream block
We also included a new optional module called social activity filter, this allows a content manager to add the activity stream to a landing page or dashboard filtered on a specific tag.
This will help showing more relevant activity streams, regardless if users are following them or not. Site managers are able to configure which filters are applicable on the new activity filter settings page. By default we will allow content tags to be used as we imagine this to be your most common use case.
Add a new section on landing pages
In the landing page sections there is also a new option called tag. By selecting this tag, you as content creator can decide to show a tag banner, similar to the header as shown on the search. This in combination with the filter mentioned above, will give you the tools to create landing pages around these categories.
For more information on how this works? Have a look at our manual on community talks in follow taxonomies guide.
Other interesting updates!
And that’s not all, we also have some smaller updates
Add icons for new topic and event types
When browsing the topics and events overview, or the content search for that matter, you see a generic icon used for a topic and one for events even if the type is different. We wanted to give your content manager the ability to decide what icons are used for different types. We have already provided you with new icons for the default topic types so you’ll see news, discussion and blogs with a brand new icon.
As a site manager, I want to be able to limit profile privacy settings even further
Right now a site manager can decide which sets of fields a user can hide on their profile.
This didn’t add the amount of granularity you needed. Therefore we have updated these to empower the site manager to decide, per field, which fields are always shown, always hidden or where a user can decide to show or hide it. You can find the new settings on the profile settings page or go directly to “/admin/config/people/social-profile”
Add your organization Logo in footer.
We have added the possibility for you to add your organizations logo to the footer next to the footer menu. Log in as SM+ and navigate to the "/admin/config/opensocial/footer-block" page to configure the details. For more information, go to the menu configuration guide.
Show thumbnails on image uploads on topic/events / pages
We've made sure images added as attachments to events, topics and pages will now be shown as thumbnails instead of a regular file icon on the detail pages.
Add content tagging to user profiles
The tagging feature is now also available for user profiles, so you can tag content, groups and users now. We have also added this tag as a new filter option on the user search and ensured the selected tags are shown on a users profile. You can enable it under Social Tag settings in your configuration "/admin/config/opensocial/tagging-settings".
Decide if regular users can create groups
As a site manager you’re now able to configure if regular users can create groups or if this is only your content and fellow site managers can do within your community.
You can find this new checkbox on the Group settings page under the Group permissions "/admin/config/opensocial/social-group" .
Note: Your Customer Success Manager will let you know of the timeline, when you can expect your Open Social update.
If you have any questions, please comment and we will get right back to you!