Automattic has announced that it has acquired the Social Image Generator plugin from Daniel Post and will integrate its functionality into Jetpack’s social sharing tools. Social Image Generator does what the name suggests. It uses the title and image of a post and generates an image that can be shared across a myriad of social networks. SIG contains a number of different templates as well as filters and functions to customize the output.
Daniel will now be an Automattician working on integrating SIG into Jetpack’s social sharing tools. SIG is no longer available for purchase and current customers will be able to use the plugin as-is for the foreseeable future. However, it looks like updates to that plugin will be far and few between if any and existing users should plan to migrate to Jetpack if they want to continue using SIG.
And therein lies the rub. SIG served a specific purpose and didn’t come with a bunch of other features that you may or may not use. With Jetpack, you can turn most things on and off but the fact is, it’s all or nothing. You won’t be able to use SIG without Jetpack once the legacy product is cut off.
I’m used to social media plugins using a post’s featured image or the first image in a post as the one that is used to share on social media, but how often do you pay attention to those images? Are those images something that grabs your attention? Are they important? Do they lead to more engagement and would your content not be shared as much without those images?
It’s a neat idea, but I think all you need is a post title and a URL. The image that’s attached is fluff and most times is not necessary. Sure, it can look good in certain situations but when it comes down to it, I’m interested in the content that is being shared, not the fluff surrounding it. At any rate, existing users of Jetpack have something to cheer about while some users of SIG are probably bummed.
By the way, if you’re a SIG user who makes the switch to Jetpack and wants to help contribute to its integration, you can reach out to Jetpack’s Research team and schedule an appointment. The appointment includes a one-on-one interview that lasts up to 45 minutes. A look at new features or proposals or improvements that are in the works. And you just might get a $25 Amazon gift card for your time.
Updated September 8th, 2021
As I was writing this post, I mention that it’s an all-or-nothing approach for former SIG users who want to migrate to Jetpack. They either choose to use Jetpack and all that it comes with or not use SIG at all. However, it has been brought to my attention that Jetpack is not just a plugin anymore. It’s made up of a collection of tailored services and product bundles to fit specific needs as illustrated on the Jetpack.com pricing page.
So instead of using everything Jetpack has to offer, it’s plausible that SIG could be integrated into the Growth category of features or a different Jetpack product bundle. It might even be sold on its own or as an add-on service. Only time will tell. The important thing is that there will be flexibility.