Software

Free PowerPoint add-in offers integration with Facebook and Twitter

A group of Microsoft developers created Social Share, an add-in that integrates Twitter and Facebook into PowerPoint. The possibilities for enterprise communication and social interaction are endless.

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Image: iStockphoto.com/Gajus

On November 5, 2015, the Wildfire group in Office announced the release of Social Share for PowerPoint. The add-in was developed as part of Microsoft's Garage program, which encourages developer innovation and outside-the-box thinking.

Social Share allows you to share PowerPoint presentations with anyone and everyone using the common social media apps Facebook and Twitter. You can also view comments, likes, retweets, etc., from within PowerPoint, adding a deep social media component to your presentations.

Learn to share

Once you install the Social Share add-in, you will be asked to log in to both Facebook and Twitter so PowerPoint can establish the proper connections (Figure A). The interesting part of this process is that the logins occur from within PowerPoint.

Figure A

Figure A

Social Share gives you several sharing options, including sharing a single slide, sharing a presentation as a slide show, and sharing a presentation as a video. With the add-in installed, a new level of social interaction is just a few clicks away.

I made a simple slide to test Social Share and was pleased with how easy it was to post a PowerPoint slide to Facebook and Twitter (Figure B). Now, I'm not much of slide maker so I don't know how often I will use Social Share, but it is nice to know it is there if you need it.

It's free and it works—that should be enough to satisfy most people.

Figure B

Figure B

Collaboration

As we have mentioned many times before, Microsoft's strategy for Office 365 revolves around what it calls a modern mobile workforce. And to meet the needs of a modern mobile workforce, enterprises need the proper collaboration tools.

An enterprise workforce must be able to connect with each other in a multitude of ways: email, texting, chat, video, whiteboard, simultaneous document editing, and now with Social Share for PowerPoint, via Facebook and Twitter.

The ability to communicate in numerous and varied ways can be the factor that distinguishes one enterprise from another. Social Share for PowerPoint is one more tool companies can use to achieve success.

In the Garage

Microsoft's Garage project has produced some interesting applications in the past, including Snip, which we discussed in a previous TechRepublic article. These apps unofficially expand Microsoft's official Office 365 apps with new features not found in the original versions.

In the case of Social Share for PowerPoint, the expanded features open up communication possibilities for enterprise social interaction not readily available before. The ability to work up a quick, yet sophisticated, slide show or video presentation that can be instantly disseminated to the public through Twitter and Facebook could be a powerful asset.

Enterprise public relation departments could use Social Share to counter bad publicity, fighting viral social media memes at their very source. Enterprises could also conceivably use this tool to convey product information via social media that supports and enhances the information already available on the company's website.

The potential applications for Social Share in terms of communication are limited only by the user's capability to wield it. Kudos to the Wildfire group in Office for developing the add-in. If you are tasked with interacting with social media for your enterprise, do yourself a favor and check out Social Share for PowerPoint.

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Your thoughts

Can you think of scenarios where the ability to publish PowerPoint presentations via Twitter and Facebook would be beneficial? Are you going to install the Social Share add-in and try it out?

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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