The latest version of WordPress includes an upgrade for its controversial Gutenberg Editor and a new feature: the social links block.
Gutenberg’s new social links block option allows bloggers to add quick links to their social media pages.
It comes standard in the newest version of Gutenberg. That, in turn, comes with the latest version of WordPress, version 5.3.
Developers released the Beta candidate — the test version — on Monday. Users should expect the official release sometime in October.
Since I’m not yet on WordPress 5.3, I can’t demonstrate how it works. But with the help of a screengrab from the blog site, I can show how it appears to work:
It looks as if the block will come preloaded with popular social media icons. You click on the one you wish to display on your site — in a post or in a widget, I gather — then enter the URL.
You will then be able to easily direct your readers to your social media accounts in one block of content.
Gutenberg relies on “blocks” rather than a single section of text with embedded graphics and other elements. Each paragraph, essentially, stands alone as its own block. Each graphic, each social media embed and each video also represent independent blocks.
The editor is controversial because it represented a shift from the more familiar editor that accompanied WordPress from day one.
Some bloggers simply refused to learn it. WordPress accommodated them, saying they would maintain the “classic editor” for a period of time.
It’s clear, though, that period of time is finite, and eventually, people should expect to be using Gutenberg.
I don’t dislike it at all. Part of me is still getting used to the differences, but once you begin to embrace how it works, it’s not difficult.
I think the social links block option will be a convenient way to get social media buttons on your site — wherever you want — without a lot of effort.
And let’s face it: these days, bloggers have to be promoting themselves on social media as much as they’re promoting themselves on their blog.