Everything You Need To Know About The Death Of FBML

Screw Libyan uprisings, Egyptian democracy, or Charlie Sheen's crack-fueled #winning (secretly failing) tirades, Facebook is pulling the plug on FBML and that means your Facebook Page could possibly break (at some point in the future)! Here's what you need to know to survive the tyranny of Facebook!

Screw Libyan uprisings, Egyptian democracy, or Charlie Sheen’s crack-fueled #winning (secretly failing) tirades, Facebook is pulling the plug on FBML and that means your Facebook Page could possibly break (at some point in the future)! Here’s what you need to know to survive the tyranny of Facebook!

Your Options

So now that you already know that Facebook is beginning to phase out FBML completely (as we described on Valentine’s day, just to let you know how much Facebook loves you) what options do you have? While you may already know the various options, I thought I’d take the time to spell it out for you.

Learn How to Program
Seriously … go to the bookstore (those that still exist) and pick up a somewhat heavy book on programming. Keep in mind that you’ll want to find a nice mid-sized book as the book store clerk will surely know that a there’s no way in hell you’ll know how to program after reading less then 200 pages and there’s also no way you’ll complete a 1,000 page textbook. Once you get home, spend the next three months pulling out your hair after hours of painful trial and error attempting to get a random javascript animation working within Facebook’s iFrames.

After you’ve learned a little something about programming, spend a few days thinking about how crazy it is that Facebook has successfully managed to get millions of people to build things in iFrames. If you aren’t infuriated after dwelling on a fact which you think is worthy of a PHd dissertation (because you are now in genius territory after months of programming and everything you think is genius), this path would have been well spent.

If you’d prefer not to learn some basic HTML because you’re too busy having a social life, I’d suggest to take one of the next options.

Hire A Programmer
Who needs to become a genius when you can hire them, right? If you don’t already employ a developer in your company, you are either a sole proprietor or your company simply prefers to avoid this “technology” thing all together. No matter what your situation is, hiring an individual developer is always much better than hiring a company because it’s cheaper. Best of all, it takes twice as long (or longer) because nobody in the service industry makes money by getting things done quickly. Find a $75 an hour developer and see how long it takes them to get the job done.

Remember, hiring a developer is only worthwhile if you’re willing to go through the process of writing a specification document which outlines your expectations. Alternatively you can skip the spec document and leave it up to chance.

Hire Another Company
If this is you, I’m not sure why you are still reading this article. There are plenty of people who will take your money at $150 to $300 an hour and tell you everything that I wrote in this article. Reading is for losers. Paying boatloads of cash for work which takes a little bit of computer know-how is much cooler. If you fall into this category, I’d suggest three things: give yourself a pat on the back for being an absolute baller, kick your feet up and enjoy the good life, and stop reading this article.

Use A Page Service Provider
So maybe all the companies won’t cost you hundreds of dollars an hour. There are a number of companies like Wildfire, Involver, and many more who provide tools to Page administrators. While none of them are free, there are some relatively cheap monthly plans available from companies.

Leave Your Page Running as Is
This is the last option. If you already have an FBML page you can keep it running without making any changes for the foreseeable future. Since you have better things to be concerned with you can just let your Facebook Page sit and languish. Go spend time on your blog or somewhere else that you’ll get the most ROI. While this isn’t necessarily the best option, it’s the most likely of options for most page administrators.

What Most People Will Do

Given that most people take the last option, they will probably wait until Facebook completely kills off FBML permanently. At that point they will continue to complain about the changes, not switch their layout, and wait for everything to break. It’s a perfectly legitimate option, but it’s probably not the best one. However if you’re like most businesses, it’s hard to find the time to even change a link on a page let alone reprogram an entire Facebook tab.

If you need to refresh other people within your business what their options are, feel free to share this article with them!