Last week Facebook announced that it would be shifting away from the old FBML model within Facebook Pages to iFrames as part of the roll out of the new Facebook pages. Here’s what you need to know about the shift.
Facebook Deprecating Static FBML
The most common inquiry we’ve heard from readers over the past few days is related to Facebook’s handling of the extremely popular static FBML application which enabled people to easily customize their pages. The most important thing to know is that if you have already installed the static FBML application, it will continue to work. However on March 11th of this year, “you will no longer be able to create new FBML apps and pages will no longer be able to add the static FBML app”.
While some have suggested that this could kill off reveal tabs, Facebook still enables such functionality through the API although it’s a bit more complicated. The team over at EpicSocial pointed out to us that in platform API developers will still be able to accomplish the same thing. The one downside is that it won’t be as easy as before. The details are buried in the documentation on the signed request page.
With every call to an application, Facebook sends an encrypted hash which only the developer can decrypt. Within that hash is a JSON object which includes a number of fields including the page field. The page field contains “A JSON object containing the page id string, the liked boolean if the user has liked the page, the admin boolean if the user is an admin.” For less technical users this is a serious headache.
While the average page administrator who won’t have access to the static FBML application anymore will be frustrated, those who have developers available will benefit from being able to provide deeper personalization. Aside from that, it’s pretty much a more technical landscape, and those developers who build applications which enable page administrators to easily customize their pages should see an increase in demand. For the average person, things just got immensely complex.