Use Case for mobile sharing of content?

  1. While there is a lot of functionality in the mobile app, I have never been able to seamlessly share a URL link to anything as easy as I can with social media apps. Shouldn't we be asking why is that? And what exactly are the use cases for this mobile app?

    On Wordpress desktop, I'm finally able to paste a video link and automatically generate a thumbnail using a plugin. But if that same video link is shared via mobile app, it is ignored entirely and not displayed in the post.

    Nearly a decade ago Wordpress declared it would focus on mobile. And yet, after all this time, posting content via a mobile device has remained a poor experience that rarely (if ever) works.

    Is there NO ONE in Wordpress (Matt Mullenweg!) that cares to compete with social media platforms?

  2. Hi there,

    That would depend on the service you're trying to embed from. For example, if you add a YouTube link using WordPress on your browser, it should embed it automatically for you. Some services, however, may not be supported.

    You can see a full list here:

    As for the app, could you please share with me a link to the video you're trying to embed? This way I can check if it's supported and provide a workaround, if necessary.

    Thank you!

  3. hi Eduardo,
    After building sites for 10 years with Wordpress, I'm not the least bit interested in a workaround. Paste any YouTube link into a post on mobile. The post will not even display the link text.

    And it works fine on the desktop, so there's a bug in the app. And that in a nutshell is the history of the Wordpress mobile app. I simply don't get why Automattic has not built a world-class mobile app for mobile posting and charge $30 a year.

    While Wordpress has been an unequivocal success as a CMS platform, it has been just as much a failure in actual user experience. And for all of the resources brought to bear to develop JetPack, which has dubious value in my opinion, the mobile app is still plagued with problems. (not that JetPack features are the model of stability either...).

    There is something about the market economics of this that I simply do not understand. A third of the world's websites run on Wordpress, but has a mobile app that simply looks primitive to ANY social media app.

    As mentioned earlier, I'm not interested in workarounds. I'm interested in a reliable Wordpress mobile app that shares a video in the same amount of time/effort, with the same formatting quality, as FB, Twitter, or Instagram. That is the primary use case for the mobile app in my opinion.

  4. Hi again,

    I totally understand your feedback and I appreciate it.

    On the other hand, I don't think I was clear about how embeds currently work on the WordPress app, which recently started to support a mobile version of Gutenberg: YouTube embeds do work on the mobile app. While you only see a link inside the editor, if you preview your post or visit its URL, an embed will be displayed.

    I can agree that this is not ideal but developers started to track this down here:

    In case you have any constructive feedback to share, I'd recommend also joining the conversation in the above link.

    And thanks again!

  5. Thanks for your replies. Your time is greatly appreciated. As a test, here is an example of the blog feed on my Home page in which I created the same post from desktop and the iPad OS app:

    I use a plugin to pull the thumbnail from a linked video and upload that as the Featured Image. And it has worked fine. If I create a new post, and simply paste the video URL (e.g. YouTube), a video thumbnail will be uploaded and displayed in the post AND as the feature image in the blog feed.

    If I create the exact same post (different title of course), the video thumbnail is displayed in the post. But NOT displayed as the Featured Image in the blog feed.

    Architecturally, I don't understand why the Featured Image should function any differently in this scenario. Especially given that the third-party plugin works without issue on desktop.

    So just to be clear, my post is not about troubleshooting this specific problem. It is simply one more problem with the mobile app in it's long history that keeps people from using it. In theory, people would use the mobile app constantly if it allowed them to share content with the ease of FB, IG, Twitter, etc. And I would even agree the WordPress mobile-app UX provides that experience (could be better, but I'll take it...). It's just the last mile of it working.

  6. Hi there, @whatwhere

    I can definitely see your point and could also test some extra things from my end. Would you mind sharing with me the exact plugin you're using as well as the steps I should do to reproduce the issue you're facing?

    I appreciate all the info you shared so far.

    Best wishes,

  7. hi Eduardo,
    So, no doubt the answer to my problem is using a different plugin because the one I have has not been updated in 3 years(!). Which I will do. But... that still doesn't explain why it works on desktop but does not work (fully) on mobile.

    The plugin is Video Thumbnails

    1. Login to iPad OS app to access self-hosted WordPress site. (mine is hosted on WPEngine)
    2. Create a New Post.
    3. Enter unique title text.
    4. Paste YouTube link. (In my scenario I am using the shortened YT link found in the share menu)
    5. Publish the post.
    6 Repeat steps 1-5 using WordPress Admin in Chrome browser.

    Part of this could be my misunderstanding of WordPress architecture. The enterprise software company I work for has a full library of open APIs, so it doesn't matter what front-end you access it from; it will perform the same* (native app, web portal, PWA). My assumption has been that WordPress operates the same.

    * 'same' in terms of core feature functionality unless modified in the app/portal code.

  8. Installed Video Embed Thumbnail Generator plugin and now the steps above do not work on Desktop either. (with plugin configuration)

  9. Hi there, @whatwhere

    > Part of this could be my misunderstanding of WordPress architecture. The enterprise software company I work for has a full library of open APIs, so it doesn't matter what front-end you access it from; it will perform the same* (native app, web portal, PWA). My assumption has been that WordPress operates the same.

    Right, but there could be a few implications depending on how this or that plugin works. For example, I tested a default featured image plugin and it worked flawlessly from both WP Admin and the WP app:

    When I tested, however, it didn't work properly with the app. The video thumbnail was properly uploaded to the media library but I need to go back to the Post Settings, from the app, and then manually select the thumbnail.

    That said, I'm not yet sure if this is an issue with the app itself or with the plugin and its last update being 5 years old. It could be worth investigating if you ended up fiding a more recent plugin that properly works on desktop so we could check again

    Hope this helps!

  10. hi @Eduardo,
    Thanks for testing that. But configuring a default Feature Image is a bit like setting a default Category, yea? I mean, it would be even more shocking if that didn't work.

    And you're right, it's unclear what is the problem. The plugin, Wordpress API, the mobile app? Who knows...

    And it will never be fixed. Because there isn't anyone at Automattic that cares. With one exception. I'm certain they will dedicate a lot of resources to seamlessly publish posts (with Featured Image...) to Tumblr through Jetpack on a mobile app. Nevermind that there aren't any users that want to do that. Or pay for Jetpack TO do that.

    The WordPress ecosystem is built out for small to medium eCommerce companies. It stopped being a personal blogging platform long ago. And that sucks.

  11. Hi again!

    Please note that all plugins we linked here are 3rd party software, built by others. While we will always try to help you with custom plugins and themes, make sure you check the official documentation, the installation instructions, and let the plugin/theme developers know about these issues as well.

    Until we know what is causing the issue, I'd avoid any assumptions and reinforce my previous recommendation: if possible, please search for a similar but recently updated plugin. If it also doesn't work with the app, let us know so we can check with the WordPress app developers.

    Have a great rest of your week.

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