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How to Create a News Feed With Walls.io

Bundle Social Media and RSS Sources to Create an Information Hub

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Two hands resting on a tablecloth, holding a tablet which displays a social wall news feed under the title “#MorningNews. Next to the hands on the left side, we see a small round wooden serving tray holding a cup of coffee, a bowl of cherries and an unlit tea light.

Bundle information from various sources and provide a curated mix of news and entertainment on a social media wall. You can then embed your hub on a website or display it on screens somewhere.

We’ve created a microsite for the coronavirus crisis based on two social walls we’ve set up. One wall focuses on news sources, while the other one provides distraction for the lockdown. In this post, we will show you how you can do something similar for any topic.

Screenshot of our Coronavirus News and Social Hub, which includes a curated news feed for the topics and an embed code for said news feed.
Our Coronavirus News and Social Hub is at https://corona.walls.io/world

Combine content from various sources

With Walls.io, it’s easy to set up a news and information hub centred around a particular topic or focusing on local news from your area. You can add content from social media or RSS feeds and even create content just for the social wall using our “Native Posts” feature.

Once you’ve researched and chosen your sources, here is how you set up your information hub.

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Add social media sources to your social wall

In your Walls.io Dashboard, navigate to Settings > Sources and click on the “Add Source” button.

If you want to add a social media source, simply pick the network you need from the dropdown and add the profile you want to show content from. You can also aggregate content from social media networks via a specific hashtag or keyword — or you can use keywords and hashtags to limit which content to show from the profile you picked.

Here, we’ve added Reuters’ Twitter profile as a source and limited posts to those that contain the keyword “corona”.

Screenshot from the Walls.io Dashboard showing the Reuters Twitter profile added as a source for the social wall and posts filtered for the keyword “corona”. The source is also set to “Ignore replies”, so only tweets which aren’t replies to another account will show up on the social wall.

Ignore replies

For a news or entertainment hub, it makes sense to show only content that is an original tweet by the source you chose. For example, you don’t want other people’s posts on a Facebook page to show up or tweets that are just the account replying to another user’s tweet.

For tweets, simply tick the “Ignore replies” box when setting up a profile as a source (see our example using Reuters Twitter as a source above). For Facebook pages, tick “Only posts by [profile name]”, and no user posts will show up.

To only show posts by The Onion and no posts that other users are leaving on The Onion’s Facebook page, we ticked the option that says “Only posts by The Onion”.

Screenshot from the Walls.io Dashboard showing the The Onion Facebook page added as a source for the social wall and posts filtered for the keywords “corona” and “covid-19”. The source is also set to “Only posts by The Onion”, so only Facebook posts made by the page will show up on the social wall.

Add RSS feeds

Adding RSS feeds is as easy as adding social media feeds to your social wall. What you need first is the correct link to a source’s RSS feed. Then you navigate to your Dashboard again (Settings > Sources) and click the “Add Source” button.

From the dropdown, select RSS and enter the URL of your RSS feed.

Screenshot from the Walls.io Dashboard showing how to add RSS as a source. A dropdown shows multiple social media networks, with RSS highlighted by a mouseover.

Just like with social media sources, you can also further filter content from RSS feeds using keywords, hashtags, etc.

Here, we’ve filtered the New York Times’ World News RSS feed only to include posts that contain the word “corona”.

Screenshot from the Walls.io Dashboard showing the NYT World News RSS feed added as a source for the social wall. Posts are filtered for the keyword “corona”.

Add custom posts

With our “Sponsored Posts” feature, you can also add custom posts directly to the social wall and set them to appear in the social feed regularly. You can use it to feature paid ads, advertise subscriptions to your paper or magazine, or introduce additional services you’re offering.

Sponsored Posts can be text-based or include images and video. And you can add links to facilitate conversions.

Navigate to Content > Sponsored Posts in your Walls.io Dashboard and create your posts right there. Add images, videos and links, and set how often you want your Sponsored Posts to show up on your social wall.
Here, we’ve set an image of our robot Walter and a link to our website to show up as every 15th post on our lockdown distraction wall.

Screenshot from the Walls.io Dashboard showing the Sponsored Posts section. A slider shows the Sponsored Posts feature as enabled. Beneath it, you see the option to “create sponsored post” and “create sponsored video post”. One post has already been added to the social wall. It consists of an image of Walls.io mascot Walter with starry eyes on a yellow background accompanied by a link to the Walls.io website under the header “Walls.io — The Social Wall for Everyone”.

Embedding your custom information hub

Once you have all your sources set up, you can embed your social wall wherever you need to. Simply grab the embed code from the Embed & Display section of your Walls.io Dashboard.

Screenshot of the Walls.io Dashboard’s Embed & Display section. It explains how to embed the social wall on any website using a JavaScript embed code that can be copied and pasted. Underneath the settings section for the embed, we see a preview of the social wall,

A hub for any situation

You can create a news hub on an international basis like we did or go as small and local as makes sense for you. Add the very specific news sources that matter to your small town, for example, to keep your community informed and up-to-date.

Try it now