Social Streams is a free plugin for WordPress that will allow you to display the latest tweets and instagram photos on your website based around search results or hashtags. The plugin provides a nice responsive grid of results and is updated every 15 minutes, a pro version is available which will update in real-time. The Social Streams plugin is created by digital agency, Briteweb, you can view the plugin in action on their site here.
Examples in Use
Here are some examples of sites which use this plugin so you can get an idea of possible uses.
It is used here by a desert catering company, Marked Edible Designs, to show off their instagram photos of their creations and tweets from their company account.
The Life Observed is a photography blog which posts daily photos, Social Streams is used here to show their instagram feed.
Hungry for Happiness is a Health and Entrepreneurship blog, their use of Social Streams is to show tweets and photos around the #hungryforhappiness hashtag.
The HTML500, Is a Canadian coding workshop, it uses Social Streams to display the social media buzz at each event.
Using The Plugin
After you upload and activate the plugin, you will need to login to Twitter and Instagram with your accounts to authorize the app.
Once you have connected your accounts you can enter some search terms - up to 3 for Twitter and 1 for Instagram:
Enter your search term and hit the "Preview" button and the results will load up in a nice looking responsive grid :
If you hover over a result it will show you the post author, their description / tweet text and will also give you the option to delete the post from the stream. You are also able to delete items from the front-end of your site.
If you are happy with the stream results, hit the "publish" button and the plugin will create a page on your site the stream
This is how an instagram stream looks on the front-end :
And this is how a Twitter stream looks for the term "wplift" :
As mentioned you are able to delete individual items from the feed, either from your WordPress admin area or the front-end. You can also choose to auto-approve or manually approve items to go on the feed under the "Settings" area.
Uses for this Plugin
I really like this plugin - its very easy to setup and use and I can see some cases where this would be very handy. You could use it on your website to show off all mentions of your company or brand - this could backfire though if the mentions are not all positive, you do have the means to "censor" the feed though if you choose to do so by removing items, either unrelated to yourself or which are not complimentary.
Another great way to use this plugin is if your are running an event such as a WordCamp with a central hashtag that people can use, displaying all the latest tweets and Instagram photos from your event live on your site would be look great.
The plugin is free to use but comes with the restriction of only updating every 15 minutes, I see that being fine for most purposes - if you require it to update in real-time which would be handy for much larger events, then you have the option of paying for a pro version of the plugin.