When I first discovered this plugin I wanted to write a stellar review and give it like 20 stars, as it seemed to solve one of the biggest problems of BuddyPress. But when by solving a problem you create an even bigger one, it kind of defeats the purpose.
In BP when you post a link on the activity stream, it doesn’t generate a preview unless it comes from some specific big websites (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo). Even links from sites like Facebook, Apple or IMDb show no preview. I tested many, if not all, free plugins that claim to tackle this issue – almost none worked with BP. Now, this plugin does a great job. It must support a huge number of websites, because I posted from some unknown ones with no problem whatsoever. Seemed too good to be true. And unfortunately it was…
As I found out later, when Embedly is activated posts from some sources that BP supports by default stop working correctly (happened with YouTube and Vimeo). A preview is still generated, but it is only a dead image of the video. By dead I mean you cannot click play or even click on the title and open the video in a new tab. Since nobody in their right mind would be OK with building a social network where users cannot post YouTube videos, this otherwise great plugin becomes essentially useless.
An easy solution would be what Iframely Responsive Embeds plugin does: it has an option “Do not override default embed providers” (the problem is that they do not support so many websites as Embedly). Hopefully Embedly will provide something similar in the future, because it really is a shame – I tried some crazy URLs, even from sources not on their list, and it still generated a perfect preview!
The other problem, as you can tell by the title, is support. Not to put too fine a point on it, it simply doesn’t exist. I opened a ticket and described the bug, asking if there is a solution. It’s been five days now and counting… It seems that support is there just for effect. And imagine that I am a potential paying customer, as I clearly stated that if the problem is solved I would like to purchase a premium package or custom code or something, in order to remove their branding from the previews.
Again, a shame… So it has to be one star.
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