Replace Facebook Page FBML Tab with iFrame Apps

InBoundNow has posted a quick and simple video on how to set up an iFrame app for your Facebook pages to replace FBML, which is being phased out.

Advantages

  • Pulling a page you create and host into Facebook allows for a much more dynamic experience within Facebook and allows you to continue to use your programming skills rather than having to learn the Facebook API.
  • Since you are pulling in an existing page, you can code and develop on your live site without having to log into Facebook, which adds a layer of security to credentials (i.e., some people can administer Facebook, others can access the live site).
  • You don’t have to use trial-and-error with the code you enter in FBML being stripped out by the parser.

Disadvantages

  • It adds a layer of unnecessary complexity if all you want to do is create a static page of content and images.
  • You must have a webpage to show in the iFrame. If you’re a small organization without a website or using a free service like a WordPress blog for your web presence, this is a problem.

It will be interesting to see 6 months from now it iFrames have fully replaced FBML or if we see an FBML-lite option still available.

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13 Responses to “Replace Facebook Page FBML Tab with iFrame Apps”


  1. 1 Eric March 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Are you sure about the pixel width being 540px? I’m pretty sure it hasn’t changed since before the new page update and is 520px.

  2. 2 Matt Moore March 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    ERIC: Good catch. It should be 520. Someone called the author on that on YouTube as well.

  3. 3 Deborah May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    How do you add interactivity to an iFrame page? Like if you want fans to comment on videos and pictures on the page? Is there a way to allow fans to upload their own photos onto the page? Thanks!

    • 4 Matt Moore May 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Those are questions a bit too detailed for here. Short answer is: If you can build the functions you want on a page on your website, you can embed that page via an iFrame (since the iFrame contains a web page that does *not* exist on Facebook).

      If you want fans to comment on pics or vids, use those built-in tools on Facebook.

  4. 5 Cho August 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    this may be a lame question but I must ask! Is there away i can make an App without having to use my credit card or my mobile number?

  5. 7 Deborah September 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Matt – I’m following your tutorial step by step, and it appears Facebook has changed things again 🙂 We’re now required to provide secure urls for canvas and page tab. What is that?

  6. 11 Deborah September 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I mean Facebook – like the welcome tab of a fan page. Thanks!

  7. 13 RegaDuenez997@gnumail.com December 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Good creative ideas.


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