Prerequisite knowledge
To follow along with this tutorial you will need:
  • Knowledge of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
  • Basic understanding of Facebook applications
Original publication date: 01/21/2013
Modified: 03/14/2013 (Change log)
Required products
 
 

 
Introduction

When we read something that moves us, we want to tell our friends. By sharing content with friends, readers extend the reach of a publication and with extended reach comes the opportunity for increased purchases and subscriptions.
By integrating Social Sharing into their DPS App, publishers can enable readers to share articles directly from the DPS app with their friends through a variety of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (v27, July 2013), and, as of v28 (September 2013), AirDrop for iOS 7. Publishers determine which articles can be viewed and the number of articles that can be viewed without purchase. Shared content can be viewed within the publisher’s DPS App or through the Adobe® Content Viewer for Web, also known as the web viewer.
In additional to Social Sharing, publishers can use the web viewer to provide readers who do not have a mobile device access to their digital publications. The web viewer supports all major desktop browsers and the majority of interactive overlays. As of v28 (September 2013), the web viewer also supports Safari for iPad. The web viewer is 100% HTML-based and does not require the user to install any plugins. For custom branding and other control, publisher can use the Adobe® Content Viewer for Web SDK. (See article Embedding web viewer content in your web page)
DPS Social Sharing is currently available for iPad and iPhone and can be enabled for Apps using the v20 or higher viewer for most social networks. Apps using the v27 or higher viewer are able to enable Pinterest page sharing. Apps using the v28 or higher viewer are able to include AirDrop when running on an Apple supported iOS 7 device. As of March 2014, DPS Social Sharing is only available on iOS  7 devices. Sharing on i OS 6 is no longer supported. 
 

 
Overview of the Social Sharing Experience

With Social Sharing, readers can share articles to a variety of social networks and their friends can view the shared content in a desktop browser without requiring a mobile device. Publishers control how many articles can be viewed before a paywall is displayed and the reader is required to make a purchase.
 
Sharing from within a DPS App
 
 
Figure 1: Sharing from a DPS App on iPad or iPhone
Figure 1: Sharing from a DPS App on iPad or iPhone
 
When Social Sharing is enabled, readers can tap on the folio to display the Heads Up Display (HUD). They then tap on the Sharing icon in the upper right to display the sharing menu. As of v28 (September 2013), the sharing menu in iOS 7 only will use the native iOS 7 activity sheet menu.
 
Figure 2: Sharing menus in iOS 6 and iOS 7 as of v28 (September 2013)
Figure 2: Sharing menus in iOS 6 and iOS 7 as of v28 (September 2013)
 
Note: In iOS 7, Apple currently does not display Facebook or Twitter in the sharing menu for non-Apple apps if the reader has not entered their Facebook or Twitter credentials in iOS settings. To help the reader understand how to enable Facebook or Twitter sharing, a DPS dialog will display prompting the user to enter their credentials. The reader can dismiss the dialog or choose “Remind Me” to see the dialog again the next time they choose to share.
 
Supported Social Networks & Sharing Methods
DPS Social Sharing supports the following sharing networks and sharing methods:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest (As of v27, July 2013)
  • Email
  • Copy Link
  • AirDrop (As of v28, September 2013. iOS 7 Only)
 
Facebook
Sharing to Facebook will post to the reader’s Facebook timeline. When a reader shares an article to Facebook, the share post contains:
On iOS 6 (v28 and earlier viewers):
  • Posted by “<App Name>”
  • User Comment (optional)
  • Article Thumbnail (from the first page of the article)
  • Article Title linked to the shared article
  • Publication Name and Folio Number
  • Article Description
On iOS 7:
  • A default message: I saw this in “<article title>” in <Publication Name> <Publication Date>. This can be overwritten by the user.
  • Article Thumbnail (from the first page of the article)
  • Article Title linked to the shared article
  • Publication Name and Folio Number
  • Host Domain
Note: Customers using the custom web viewer see a simplified Facebook share post. For more information about enabling the custom web viewer, see article Embedding web viewer content in your web page.
  • A default message: I saw this in “<article title>” in <Publication Name> <Publication Date>. This can be overwritten by the user.
  • Shared article URL using Customer-specified domain.
  • Publication Name and Folio Number

 
Figure 3: Example of an article shared via Facebook
Figure 3: Example of an article shared via Facebook
 
Twitter
Sharing to Twitter will post a tweet to the reader’s Tweet stream. When a reader shares an article to Twitter, the tweet contains:
  • A default message: I saw this in “<article title>” in <Publication Name> <Publication Date>. This can be overwritten by the user.
  • Link to the shared article
  • Article Thumbnail URL (not available when sharing from iOS 7)
 
Figure 4: Example of an article shared via Twitter
Figure 4: Example of an article shared via Twitter
 
Pinterest
Sharing to Pinterest will pin an image of the page being viewed. When a reader pins a page to Pinterest, the pin contains:
  • Article Page thumbnail linked to the first page of the article.
  • A default message: I saw this in “<article title>” in <Publication Name> <Publication Date>. This can be overwritten by the user.
 
Figure 5: Example of an article page pinned to Pinterest
Figure 5: Example of an article page pinned to Pinterest
 
Email
When a reader shares an article via Email, their default email client will be used; the email message contains:
  • User Message (optional)
  • Publication Name and Folio Number
  • Article Title
  • Link to the shared article
  • Article Description
 
Figure 6: Example of an article shared via Email
Figure 6: Example of an article shared via Email
 
Copy Link
Readers can also choose to use “Copy Link” to share to other sites and networks. Copy link will place a copy of the share URL on the reader’s clipboard which they can then paste into messages posted to other networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn.
 
AirDrop (iOS 7 Only as of v28, September 2013)
Sharing via AirDrop will send a link to the shared article to those people selected. The recipient will receive a dialog to accept or decline the share.
Note: Apple supports AirDrop on 4th generation iPads, iPad minis and iPhone 5s running iOS 7.
 
Receiving Shared Content
The following digrams show the experiences of receiving a shared article on a desktop, iPad and other mobile devices.
 
Receiving Shared Article in a Desktop Browser
 
 
Figure 7: Receiving shared content in the web viewer
Figure 7: Receiving shared content in the web viewer
 
Receiving Shared Article on an iPad
 
Figure 8: Receiving shared content on an iPad (as of v28, September 2013)
Figure 8: Receiving shared content on an iPad (as of v28, September 2013)
 
Sharing and Receiving an Article via AirDrop (iOS 7 Only as of v28, September 2013)
When a reader shares via AirDrop (iOS 7), the recipient will receive a dialog to accept or decline the share. If the recipient accepts, the shared article will open in the web article viewer in Safari (iPad). Receiving a share on the iPhone will display a web landing page with access to iTunes or a message to the reader (see “Receiving Shared Article When Device is Unsupported or No App Available” below).

 
Figure 9: Sharing and receiving via AirDrop on an iPad (as of v28, September 2013)
Figure 9: Sharing and receiving via AirDrop on an iPad (as of v28, September 2013)
 
Receiving Shared Article When Device is Unsupported or No App Available
 
 
Figure 10: Receiving shared content when Publisher does not have an applicable App or the device is unsupported
Figure 10: Receiving shared content when Publisher does not have an applicable App or the device is unsupported
 
Adobe Desktop Web Viewer
The web viewer is used to display shared content to readers who do not have a mobile device. The web viewer supports the latest versions of the most popular desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari and includes support for almost all interactive overlays.
 
Figure 11: Example of a DPS folio viewed in the web viewer
Figure 11: Example of a DPS folio viewed in the web viewer
 
Adobe Web Viewer for Mobile Safari
As of v28 (September 2013), the web viewer will support display of single articles within the mobile Safari browser (iPad Only). An iOS Smart Banner will appear upon initial article display to promote the app. Readers can dismiss the iOS Smart Banner. Also provided is a banner at the bottom of the screen to promote the iOS native application. This banner is briefly shown when an article is first displayed and can be accessed by the reader tapping to display the HUD navigation.
Customers using the custom web viewer who want to display the iOS Smart Banner will have to enable the banner on their domain. For more information about enabling the custom web viewer, see article Embedding web viewer content in your web page. For more information about iOS Smart App Banners, see the Promoting Apps with Smart App Banners article on Apple’s developer site.

 
Figure 12: Example of a DPS folio viewed in the web article viewer in mobile Safari (iPad Only) with iOS Smart Banner and promotional banner.
Figure 12: Example of a DPS folio viewed in the web article viewer in mobile Safari (iPad Only) with iOS Smart Banner and promotional banner.
 
Web Viewer Overlay Support
The following table shows the overlays supported in the web viewer and web article viewer.
 
Figure 13: Table of overlays supported by the web viewer.
Figure 13: Table of overlays supported by the web viewer.
 
Web Viewer Paywall
When a reader reaches the paywall limit (set by the publisher in the Account Administration panel), they will see a paywall page in the web viewer. Publishers can customize the messaging on this page and the destintion link of the “Learn More” button. If the publisher has enabled Direct Entitlement the reader will also have the option to “Sign In” using their direct entitlement credentials. Note: Direct Entitlement is only available in DPS Enterprise Edition.
 
Figure 14: Example of a paywall page in the web viewer
Figure 14: Example of a paywall page in the web viewer
 
Custom Branded Web Viewer
Publishers who wish to provide a custom branded web viewer experience including custom domains, embedded web viewers on publisher-hosted pages and custom paywall pages can use the Adobe Content Viewer for Web SDK. Custom domains will also be included in the share URLs. Publishers who use the Adobe® Content Viewer for Web SDK can also redirect users who click on a shared link on an Andorid or other non-supported device to alternate content on their website (See article Embedding web viewer content in your web page)
 
Article Preview
As of v26 (May 2013), readers can view shared content in the DPS app when Article Preview is enabled for the folio containing the shared content. Article Preview is currently available for iPad apps and there are plans to support Article Preview on other devices in the future. (See the article Free Article Preview).
 
Protected Article Sharing
In v28 and earlier viewers, when a reader shares an article that is protected (see Specifying Article Access in Folio Producer), the “Publication URL” provided by the publisher in App Builder will be shared. In the case of Pinterest page sharing, the reader will receive a message that the page is unavailable for pinning.
As of v29 (December 2013), when a reader shares an article that is protected, the article URL will be shared. In the case of Pinterest, the thumbnail image for the shared page will be pinned and link to the article URL. When a user clicks or taps on a shared post, they will see the shared article in either the desktop Web Viewer or the Article Viewer (iPad). If they are not entitled to see the article, they will see the Web Viewer Paywall page. The “Publication URL” will not be used in v29 viewers and has been removed from the App Builder settings for v29.
 

 
Setting Up Social Sharing

To enable Social Sharing within your application, you’ll need to do the following:
  1. Specify the article access setting for articles within your folios using Folio Producer or Sidecar XML.
  2. Enable the web viewer in the Account Administration Panel
  3. Choose at least one social sharing method in App Builder
Optional Steps:
  1. Enable the custom web viewer
  2. Set fulfillment limits
  3. Set a paywall threshold
  4. Enable Direct Entitlement in the web viewer
The following sections provide details of each setup step.
 

 
Specifying Article Access in Folio Producer

Article Access settings control which articles a reader can view. The Article Access settings affect the experience for both Social Sharing and Article Preview and should be set to reflect the publisher's desired behavior (See the article Free Article Preview).
Social Sharing was introduced in DPS v20. In v26 (May 2013) DPS introduced a new article access type: Free. In Folio Producer Editor, you will see a drop down for Article Access that contains three access types: Free, Metered, Protected.
Note that your Folio and articles you intend to mark as free must be v26 before the “Free” option will appear.
For the best sharing experience, it is recommended that the majority of articles within a folio be set to either metered or free. The protected setting is useful when you want to ensure that only subscribers or readers who have purchased that issue are allowed to view the article. The default setting for all articles is protected and can be changed either in Folio Producer or via Sidecar XML.
 
Article Access Controls
 
 
Figure 15. Enabling free articles in Folio Producer
Figure 15. Enabling free articles in Folio Producer
 
Free Articles are available to all users and do not count against paywall limits.
Metered Articles are available to users who have not purchased the folio only up to the limit set by the publisher. Publishers control the number of Metered Articles that can be viewed by setting the Web Viewer Paywall Threshold in the Account Administration Panel.
Metered articles are also available to users in the Device Viewer when using Article Preview. Metered article views are controlled in the Device Viewer by setting the Device Viewer Paywall Threshold in the Account Administration Panel (See the article Free Article Preview). Note that the Web Viewer Paywall Threshold is a different setting than the threshold for the Device Viewer.
Protected Articles are only available to users who have purchased the issue, are subscribed to the publication, or are entitled to the publication via Direct Entitlement.
Note: If the “Free” option does not appear in the Article Access drop down menu in Folio Producer, your folio and articles do not have a version of 26 or higher specified. This is often noticed when setting the article access for back issues. Updating the folio version in Folio Producer only updates the version at the folio level. It does not update any articles inside the folio. Update the specific articles you want to make free so that the articles are v26. Once the articles are v26, the "Free" option will appear in the article access setting and you will be able to mark the articles as free.
It is not necessary to update all articles in a back issue. Only articles intended to be free must be v26.
 

 
Enabling Adobe® Content Viewer for Web in the Account Admin Panel

To integrate Social Sharing into your DPS app, you will to need to enable the web viewer at the publication level in the Digital Publishing Suite administration dashboard. Login to http://digitalpublishing.acrobat.com with an account that has administration privileges. When the dashboard loads, click the Account Administration link in the left sidebar. If the Account Administration selection isn't enabled, then your account doesn't have the necessary Account Administration capabilities.
Once you are presented with a listing of accounts, click the application account for which you wish to enable the web viewer.
Note: You can enable the web viewer without enabling Social Sharing.
 
Enabling the Web Viewer
In the web viewer section of the Account Administration panel, click on the "Enable Web Viewer" checkbox.
You should also supply a Redirect URL. The Redirect URL is used when readers click a link to an article previously shared that is no longer available.
An iTunes URL must be entered in the Account Admin panel in order to display the iOS Smart Banner. At minimum, a Paywall URL must be entered in the Account Admin panel in order to display the promotional banner. If an iTunes URL is also entered, the promotional banner will include a button to “Get the App.”
Note: For the Paywall URL, it is recommended that publishers link to a page they host that promotes their applications and subscription options. It is not recommended to use the iTunes URL for the Paywall URL. This will cause links on Android Web Landing pages to direct to iTunes.
 
Enabling The Custom Web Viewer
If you are enabling a custom web viewer, you must also provide a Hosting URL. For more information about enabling the custom web viewer, see article Embedding web viewer content in your web page.
 
 
Figure 16: Web Viewer Settings in the DPS Account Administration panel
Figure 16: Web Viewer Settings in the DPS Account Administration panel

 
Setting Fulfillment and Paywall Limits in the Account Admin Panel

After you enable the web viewer, you will have the option to enable Fulfillment Limits and a Paywall Threshold.
 
Setting A Fulfillment Limit
If you wish to limit the maximum number of downloads that any folio can consume in the web viewer, click on the "Enable Fulfillment Limit" checkbox and enter the maximum number of folio downloads you want to allow and a URL that readers will be redirected to after an issue is "sold out." Being “sold out” on the web viewer does not impact the availability of your content in native applications on a mobile device, it only limits how many fulfillment downloads can be consumed by any given issue of your publication through the web viewer.
 
Figure 17: Web Viewer Fulfillment Limit settings in the Account Administration panel
Figure 17: Web Viewer Fulfillment Limit settings in the Account Administration panel
 
Setting A Paywall Limit
The Paywall setting controls how many metered articles an unentitled reader can view in the web viewer. After a reader reaches the paywall limit you set, they will not be able to view any additional metered articles and will have to purchase the issue or subscribe to access additional content within the folio. Note: If you enable Direct Entitlement for your publication through the web viewer, users will be able to authenticate and continue reading. This is discussed in more detail below.
To setup a paywall, click on the "Enable Paywall" checkbox and enter the number of metered articles you want a reader to be able to view within a folio before they are shown the paywall.
Note: If you enable Article Preview and do not enable the Paywall Threshold, metered articles will be available to the reader with no limit.
To control the destination of the “Learn More” button on the paywall page, enter a URL in the Paywall Button URL field. Most publishers will want to direct users to a subscription purchase page, while other publishers will opt to direct users to the iTunes App Store link for their iPad or iPhone app.
Note: For the Paywall URL, it is recommended that publishers link to a page they host that promotes their applications and subscription options. It is not recommended to use the iTunes URL for the Paywall URL. This will cause links on Android Web Landing pages to direct to iTunes.
Enter a custom message in the Paywall Text field. This message will be displayed to the reader when the paywall is displayed.
If you want to enable custom paywall pages, you will need to use the custom web viewer. For more information about enabling the custom web viewer, see article Embedding web viewer content in your web page.
 
Figure 18: Paywall settings in the Account Administration panel
Figure 18: Paywall settings in the Account Administration panel

 
Enabling Direct Entitlement in Adobe® Content Viewer for Web

If you use Direct Entitlement, you can implement direct entitlement within the web viewer. With Direct Entitlement, readers can use their existing subscription credentials to access content on the Web (in addition to accessing content in a viewer app). More importantly, new customers who discover a DPS publication via Social Sharing can now purchase a digital-only subscription via direct entitlement at a publisher's website or elsewhere.
Without Direct Entitlement integration, article views through the web viewer will be blocked after reaching either the Fulfillment or Paywall limit. With direct entitlement integration, the web viewer will allow unlimited access to content that has been explicitly entitled. For example, if a user has an active subscription to a publication via direct entitlement, they will be able to view the content on any supported mobile device and also within the web viewer.
 
Configuration
To activate direct entitlement for the web viewer, the publisher must associate their publication account with their entitlement service. To request that web viewer direct entitlement be enabled, contact your Adobe DPS representative and provide them with the AdobeID for the production account you want to enable direct entitlement for, your direct entitlement “IntegratorID” and the application’s App ID (which may be the same or different than the App ID you have assigned to your native tablet viewer applications) and request that web viewer direct entitlement be enabled. Once enabled, content views from the application’s account (as identified by Adobe ID) will attempt to authenticate readers via the publisher’s provided "IntegratorID."
 
Account Settings
Although the basic settings remain unchanged, the settings contained within the Account Administration panel have different implications when direct entitlement is activated.
For more information on Direct Entitlement, see "Direct Entitlement Kit."
 

 
Enabling Sharing and Choosing Social Networks in App Builder

To integrate the Social Sharing menu into your application, you will need to enable at least one sharing method on the Social Sharing settings page in App Builder.
 
App Builder Prerequisites
Social Sharing is available for iPad and iPhone and can be enabled for Apps using the v20 or higher viewer for most social networks. Apps using the v27 or higher viewer are required to enable Pinterest page sharing.
 
Choosing Social Networks
To enable most sharing options, simply check the box for the sharing option(s) you want to include in your DPS App. The sharing option(s) you choose will appear in the Sharing menu in your DPS app. Note that some additional information is required to enable Facebook sharing.
 
iOS 7 Social Settings; “All On” Social Sharing
As of v28 (September 2013), social sharing on iOS 7 devices will use the native iOS sharing activity sheet. It is important to note that with the update to native iOS sharing, sharing settings will work differently.
For v28 viewers running on iOS 7, and iOS 7 only, if any sharing options are checked on the Social Sharing settings page the sharing activity sheet on iOS 7 will display all available social sharing options supported by DPS.
For Example: Customer selects Email sharing and Twitter sharing. In iOS 6, the sharing menu will display Email and Twitter. In iOS 7, the sharing activity sheet will display Email, Twitter, Facebook, Copy Link and Pinterest.
As of v29 (December 2013), the Social Sharing settings page in App Builder has been updated to include a single Enable Sharing setting that will apply to iOS 6 and iOS 7 and label the settings that only apply to iOS 6. The Publication URL has also been removed for v29 viewers as it is no longer required for Protected Article sharing (See Publication URL below). As of February 2014, DPS Social Sharing is only available on iOS 7 devices. Settings for iOS 6 will be ignored.
 
Figure 19. Social Sharing options in App Builder (v28 and earlier only)
Figure 19. Social Sharing options in App Builder (v28 and earlier only)
 
Figure 20. Social Sharing options in App Builder (v29, December 2013)
Figure 20. Social Sharing options in App Builder (v29, December 2013)
 
In v28 and earlier viewers, the publication URL is used when a reader shares a protected article and in cases where the shared content is no longer available. It is recommended to enter the URL of your publication’s website or location of your application. The publication URL is used for all social sharing options and is not specific to Facebook.
 
Figure 21: Publication URL fields on the Social Sharing settings page (v28 and earlier only)
Figure 21: Publication URL fields on the Social Sharing settings page (v28 and earlier only)
 
The Publication URL is not used in v29 (December 2013) viewers and has been removed from the App Builder settings for v29.
 
Enabling Facebook Sharing
Facebook sharing requires that you provide a Facebook Application ID. If you do not have a Facebook application, you will need to create one. For more informaiton on setting up a Facebook application, see the help topic Set up a DPS app for social networking.
Once you have created your Facebook application, check the box to Enable Facebook Sharing; this will activate the field to enter your Facebook App ID. From your Facebook Application page, copy the Facebook App ID and enter it into the Facebook App ID field on the Social Sharing settings page in App Builder. Note that the Facebook App ID is different from your DPS App ID.
Note: The Facebook App ID is not used for sharing on iOS 7.
 
Figure 22: Facebook App ID field on the Social Sharing settings page (v28 example)
Figure 22: Facebook App ID field on the Social Sharing settings page (v28 example)

 
Viewing Articles in the Adobe® Content Viewer for Web

To view your articles in the web viewer, you can either share the article with yourself via email or construct a web viewer URL for the article you want to view.  To learn how to construct a web viewer URL, read “How to manually construct a web viewer parameter.” Note: After publishing or updating an article, it could take up to 15 minutes before the article is available at the web viewer URL.
 

 
Limitations

As of v28 (September 2013), some known limitations to be aware of are:
  • Article content can only be shared from iOS devices running iOS 5 or later (Note that v28 apps will not support iOS 5 / iPad 1s. For more information, see the Impact of iOS 5 End of Life with v28 article.). Social Sharing from Android DPS Apps is not currently available.  However, publishers who use the Adobe® Content Viewer for Web SDK to embed the web viewer into their hosted pages can redirect users who click on a shared link on an Andorid or other non-supported device to alternate content on their website (see article Embedding web viewer content in your web page).
  • Readers who tap a shared link on an iPhone will see a landing page with an action button in the Mobile Safari browser. (Note: As of v28, September 2013, tapping a shared link on the iPad will open the content in the Mobile Safari browser.) The experience when tapping on the action button will vary based on if the app is installed, the user is entitled or if Article Preview is enabled. If the reader has the application installed and is entitled to the folio or if the publisher has enabled Article Preview for the folio, the reader will be directed to the article that was shared. If Article Preview is not enabled, the reader might be prompted to purchase the issue. If the application is not installed, the reader will be directed to iTunes to install the application. (See the article Free Article Preview).
  • Tracking of AirDrop shares is not available in SiteCatalyst at this time.
  • The email template used for email sharing cannot be modified at this time.
  • The web viewer supports the most recent and previous versions of the more common desktop browsers (e.g., Safari, Firefox and Chrome on Mac; IE, Firefox and Chrome on PC and mobile Safari for iPad. Support for other device browsers is on the roadmap.
  • The “Learn More” paywall button label is not customizable at this time.
  • Apple Subscriptions are not currently supported in the “Sign in” option for the web viewer. Only Direct Entitlement credentials are currently recognized.
 

 
Where to go from here

Additional Help article on setting up a Facebook App for social sharing in the Digital Publishing Suite Help: Setting up a DPS App for Social Networking. The Adobe TV DigPublishing series has a video on social sharing "DigPublishing: New Sharing Features, August 2012."
Secrets & Happiness of Digital Publishing blog post on setting up social sharing links within an individual article to point to a Website version of the same article: Share Articles via Facebook, twitter or eMail.
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Change log
03/14/14: Updated to reflect the removal of sharing support in iOS 6 in the March 2014 DPS release.
12/6/2013: Updated article for the v29 Phase 1 release (December 2013)
9/14/2013: Updated article for the v28 DPS release (September 2013) and added information about iOS 7 support.
7/15/13: Completely rewritten article for the R27 DPS release (July 2013) to provide details of the sharing experience and setup steps including the additional Pinterest page sharing support.