Using social sharing

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This article refers to Digital Publishing Suite. For the Experience Manager Mobile article, see Enable social sharing.

When you create a custom multi-issue viewer app for the iPad or iPhone, you can enable Social Sharing. You or your customers can choose an option in your viewer app to share the article through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, or copy and paste. The message you share includes a link to the article.

Anyone who clicks the article link on a computer can view the article contents in the Adobe Content Viewer for the Web (also called the "web viewer") in a browser if you enable the "Content Viewer for Web" option. Anyone who taps the article link on an iPad can view a Mobile Safari Web Viewer version of the article (also called the "article viewer"). Anyone who taps the article link on an iPhone can open or download the app and view the article if you set up a rendition properly.

If the article in a retail folio is protected, a paywall appears in articles in both the web viewer on a computer and the article viewer for the iPad. A paywall can also cover articles set to "Metered" if the user has reached the limit of viewing metered articles. For v29 and later apps, a paywall does not appear over articles marked as Free or over any article in a folio published as Free. 

For more detailed information about the social sharing workflow, see Integrating social sharing into DPS apps.

Overview of steps to enable Social Sharing in your app

Follow these steps (in any order) to enable social sharing in your app.

  1. While building your app in DPS App Builder, select "Enable Sharing" to turn on Social Sharing.

    Enabling Social Sharing in an app

    On iOS 7 devices, the Activity Sheet determines which sharing options are available in the menu of your app. Select the Enable Sharing option. For iOS 6 devices, the social sharing menu is no longer available in any app built after February 11, 2014 due to new restrictions related to the Advertising Identifier reference in the Facebook SDK. The options under "iOS 6 Specific Settings" are no longer relevant.

    Note: In iOS 7, Apple currently does not display Facebook or Twitter in the sharing menu for non-Apple apps if the reader has not entered Facebook or Twitter credentials in iOS settings. To help the reader understand how to enable Facebook or Twitter sharing, a DPS dialog will display prompting the user to enter credentials. The reader can dismiss the dialog or choose “Remind Me” to see the dialog box again the next time they choose to share.

  2. Use the Account Administration tool to specify the iTunes Application URL for your app.

    This URL allows share recipients to tap a link on a device to download or open the app.

  3. Use the Account Administration tool to configure your Application account for the web viewer. Select Enable Content Viewer for Web, and specify other settings. For details, see Account Administration tool.

    Allow shared articles to be viewed in the Content Viewer for the Web.

  4. When creating your folios, set up your renditions properly. If your app supports both the iPad and iPhone, use the same Article Name values across the renditions. The 1024x768 folio is used for the web viewer unless you create a Web Viewer Only rendition. A Web Viewer Only rendition can be any valid size.

  5. Using the Folio Producer Editor, indicate whether the articles in your folio are Free, Metered, or Protected, and then publish or update the folio. In web viewer, users can view Free articles even if they have reached the paywall threshold. Users can view Metered articles until they reach the paywall threshold for that retail folio, and then a paywall appears. Users can view Protected articles only if they're entitled to the folio.

    These Article Access settings also affect free article preview, if enabled in your app.

    Change Article Access to Free, Metered, or Protected.

Social Sharing Customer Workflow

For best results, take the following actions when you set up your folios:

  • Create a 1024x768 folio using any image format. PDF articles are now uploaded to the web viewer server using PNG format. If you want to create a special folio to be used only for the web viewer, you can create a folio using any folio size, and select the Web Viewer Only. See Creating a Web Viewer-only rendition.

  • Create folio renditions for all device models. Any article shared from an iPhone or iPad HD maps to the iPad SD (1024x768) rendition or the Web Viewer Only rendition in web viewer, and the article link maps to the appropriate rendition on the device.

  • If you’re creating renditions, use the same Article Name values for the corresponding articles in each rendition to make sure that the shared article maps properly in Web Viewer and across devices. Also make sure that your folio renditions are set up properly. See Create folio renditions.

When your customers open an article in your viewer app on an iOS 7 device, they can tap the sharing icon and select any enabled social media option: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Email, or Copy Link. The social sharing menu is no longer available for viewers on iOS 6 devices for apps built after February 7, 2014.


You can link to a specific page in web viewer by adding #page_n to the end of the article URL. The first page of the article is 0, so #page_3 jumps to page 4 of the article. This feature is not supported in the embedded web viewer.

Choosing a social sharing option in app (iOS 7)

Depending on which option they selected, customers can sign in, type a comment, and specify other information. For example, if they chose Email, they specify recipients and type a message.

When an article is shared, the link includes a full pathname to the article. In retail folios, a paywall appears over protected articles and over metered articles if the user has reached the limit.

If the article is no longer available in web viewer, either an error message appears in web viewer, or the Redirect URL you specify in the Account Administration tool appears.

Users can either click the article link in a desktop browser or tap the link on an iPad or iPhone. What happens when users click or tap the article link depends on the following factors:


To edit the default text in the shared message, edit the Customized Strings XML file, which is available in the advanced settings of the App Details page in DPS App Builder. Generate the XML file, open it, and search for "I saw this in." The %1$@ string is the article name variable and %2$@ is the folio name variable. Remember to edit the language tag (such as <en>), not the <key> tag. For details, see Creating DPS apps for the iPad and iPhone.

When shared from 2048x1536 (HD) folio

If the customer shared the free or metered article from a 2048x1536 folio, the article link is available for web viewer only if you set up a 1024x768 rendition or a Web Viewer Only rendition and the article names match.

When shared from 1024x768 (SD) folio

If the customer shared the free or metered article from a 1024x768 folio, anyone who clicks the link in a web viewer can view the article. If you don't want the 1024x768 SD iPad folio to appear in web viewer, you can create a Web Viewer Only rendition.

When shared from an iPhone

If the customer shared the free or metered article from an iPhone, the article link is available for the web viewer only if you set up a 1024x768 rendition or a Web Viewer Only rendition with a matching article name.

When users tap article links on an iPad

When users tap shared links on an iPad, a version of the article appears in the article viewer for the iPad. (If the article is protected, a paywall appears.) To preview the shared article, users can scroll down and interact with supported overlays. Unsupported overlays are covered with a placeholder icon. Banners at the top and bottom of the article provide links to download the app or to open it if it's already installed. Make sure that you specify the iTunes Application URL in the Account Administration tool so that share recipients can open or download your app.

Article being previewed in article viewer for the iPad

When users tap article links on an iPhone

When users tap social sharing links on the iPhone, a landing page with a “Open Article in App” button appears.

  • If your app isn’t downloaded on the user’s device, the app appears in the App Store if the iTunes URL is specified in the Account Administration tool. If the iTunes URL is not specified, the Paywall Button URL is used. If neither the iTunes URL or Paywall Button URL is specified, a message indicates that the article is not available. Once downloaded, the app opens as usual. Customers can then purchase and download the folio containing the shared article.
  • If your app is already downloaded on the user’s device, tapping "Open Article in the App" on the landing page prompts the user to purchase or download the folio. When the folio is downloaded, the linked article is downloaded first and appears when the user taps View.
  • If both the app and the folio are downloaded, tapping "Open Article in the App" displays the article.

When user has reached the article limit in Web Viewer

A paywall page appears with a Learn More button. Use the Account Administration tool to change these settings.

When the app’s article limit is reached in Web Viewer

The Fulfillment Limit Reached URL specified in the Account Administration tool is displayed.

When the folio is published as Free

If a folio is published as Free in a v29 or later app, all articles in the free folio can be viewed in web viewer, even if the articles are set to Protected or Metered.

Supported Web Viewer Features

Supported web viewer browsers include Explorer 10, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. Internet Explorer 8 and 9 are partially supported. IE 8 doesn’t handle HTML articles, videos, and other overlays properly. IE 9 doesn't properly handle certain intricate designs such as overlapping overlays. Mobile browsers cannot display the web viewer versions of articles.

Customers who share the article must have iOS5 or higher on their iPads for article sharing to work.

Not all overlays are supported at this time in the web viewer. Panoramas are not yet supported, and certain Web Content overlays might behave unexpectedly. For video, use M4V or MP4 with h.264 encoding, not MOV. For audio files, use either MP3 files or audio files with AAC/MP4 encoding. For best results, use DPS App Builder to create a development app and test your free/metered articles in web viewer.

You can create a Web Viewer Only folio rendition that has different content than what appears in your mobile apps. In addition, you can embed the web viewer in your website to create a branded experience. For more information, see Customizing the Web Viewer.

Supported Article Viewer Features

Supported overlays for the Mobile Safari Web Viewer ("article viewer") include hyperlinks and buttons, slideshows, videos, scrollable frames, and web overlays. Nested overlays and HTML articles are also supported.

At this time, unsupported overlays include pan and zoom images, images sequences, audio, and panoramas. A placeholder image appears over each unsupported overlay to prevent users from trying to interact with that content. Page-by-page swiping and horizontal swiping only are not supported.

DPS provides two article viewer experiences that you can choose from. To learn more about the differences between the two experiences, see Configuring the Alternate Free Article Preview Experience.

AirDrop sharing on iOS 7 devices

When a reader shares an article via AirDrop (iOS 7), the recipient will receive a dialog box to accept or decline the share. If the recipient accepts, the shared article will open in the web article viewer in Safari (iPad). Receiving a share on the iPhone will display a web landing page with access to iTunes or a message to the reader.


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