Before diving into this topic, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page about what “open source” software means. Open-source software and programs have their source code available for its users to see. Users then are able to use the program’s source code and try to enhance it, build on it, change it to fit different needs, etc. These users can then distribute their version of the source code.
So open-source software gives users more options when they are using their software. But to do this, users need a basic understanding of coding and how certain software works.
Back to the topic at hand, are there open-source social media aggregators out there? The answer is yes and no.
Yes, there are open-source social media aggregators available for free offering their source code for your to change and implement on your site.
Here are a few of the open-source social media aggregators available:
- LightWidget LightWidget is a responsive widget for Instagram. LightWidget can be used to generate various types of widgets with multiple options like hover effects, captions, padding, square crops, hashtag filtering and more.
- SnapWidget SnapWidget makes it easy to display Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube content on your website.
These tools are great if you’re willing to learn about implementing the source code needed to use them on your site but there’s a catch. The code needed to aggregate many social media platforms changes when the platform goes through a major update. And since using open source code means taking the code from a period in time and implementing it on your website, your code will be out-of-date without an update after a social media platform goes through a major change.
You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to go through the trouble of learning about how to set up an open-source program, then figuring out how to update the code accordingly all to save a few extra bucks on a social media aggregator platform. Especially since there are lots of wonderful free social media aggregators with even more features and customization than some of the open-source social media aggregator options.
Many of the free social media aggregator tools available offer aggregation from many more social media platforms then the free open-source aggregators. This way you can include posts from LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Giphy, Slack and more! You can also customize the type of social media content you want to display on your social media feed.
While these capabilities might be possible using an open-source social media aggregator with some added time and work, there are some features that you’ll likely miss out on. And why go through all the time and headache of setting up a program with fewer features when you can use a program with more features for free.
Features such as filtering social media content to weed out spam and irrelevant posts. Or customizing how your social feed is displayed on your site. And even tracking the analytics of your social media feed.
These are just a few of the features you could be taking advantage of by using a free social media aggregator instead of an open-source social media aggregator.
The choice is completely up to you. If you are an experienced programmer and are able to modify and change open-source code to fit your needs and to fit the compatibility of new social media platform updates, then using open-source social media aggregator code is likely worth your time. But if you are unfamiliar with coding and open-source software, getting into a situation where you’re using open-source code on your website, instead of using a free social media aggregator, is most likely not worth the time and headache needed to do it successfully.