Facebook Moving Away From FBML

Earlier today Facebook announced that they are moving away from FBML toward iFrames, both for canvas applications as well as Facebook Page tabs. In fact, Facebook will soon end the creation of new FBML applications. Also, while not yet completely deprecating the old REST API, Facebook is moving in that direction, opting to focus on the following three things: “OAuth 2.0, the Graph API, and the JavaScript SDK”.

Namita Gupta posted more details about the change earlier today:

We are also moving toward IFrames instead of FBML for both canvas applications and Page tabs. As a part of this process, we will be standardizing on a small set of core FBML tags that will work with both applications on Facebook and external Web pages via our JavaScript SDK, effectively eliminating the technical difference between developing an application on and off Facebook.com.

We will begin supporting IFrames for Page tabs in the next few months. Developers building canvas applications should start using IFrames immediately. By the end of this year, we will no longer allow new FBML applications to be created, so all new canvas applications and Page tabs will have to be based on IFrames and our JavaScript SDK. We will, however, continue to support existing implementations of the older authentication mechanism as well as FBML on Page tabs and applications.

This is a relatively significant change as FBML has long been a core component of Facebook’s Platform. More recently however, many developers that I’ve spoken to have been working primarily with iFrame applications anyways. For those who prefer FBML, you’ll need to begin making the shift ASAP. This is part of a broader push toward the new Platform APIs and away from the old structure. As this shift takes place Facebook will also eventually pull the developer wiki.

All of the upcoming changes are reflected in a new developer roadmap (found here).

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