You probably know that Facebook has become the most powerful social force on the planet. If that wasn’t apparent before, I think that you would have to agree that the recent events in Egypt have shown just how pervasive the reach of Facebook has become.
Facebook has connected people in ways that were never possible before and smart business people have been taking advantage of that through the use of Fan Pages also known as business pages. Facebook created fan pages specifically for businesses, bands, public figures and brands to have a place on Facebook where they can promote themselves without violating the Terms of service.
Unlike personal profiles, you can add custom sections on your Facebook fan page. Up until last Thursday (2-10-11) they were called Tabs and you could use something called Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to create custom tabs that mimicked the look, feel and functionality of web pages.
This was a tremendous boon to anyone who wanted to have a business presence on the world’s best known social network…and for free to boot.
FBML was not all that hard to master, and anyone with a bit of web page building skill could create custom fan page tabs. Heck, even I was able to do that!. But, there were limitations on what you could with FBML and Facebook had made the decision sometime in 2010 that FBML would eventually go away in favor of iFrames which will allow much more functionality.
But here is the rub. As of now, in order to use iFrames, you have to create a Facebook application that will be used to host and display your iFrame…this is no trivial task and I believe that it will be beyond the skill set of most of the people offering to build Facebook custom tabs.
The good news is that we have until March 11, 2011 to add FBML tabs to our Facebook business pages. Facebook has said that on the 11th you will not be able to add FBML to your page. They went on to say that existing FBML tabs will still work beyond that date. They did not give a date that FBML would be disabled on existing pages, but did urge everyone to migrate to iFrames as soon as possible.
So, having said all of that, here is what I suggest that you do. If you have an existing fan/business page, add the FBML app and several FBML boxes right now. If you don’t have a business page, go ahead and create several pages (even though you don’t have an immediate need for them) and add some FBML tabs to them.
I can’t imagine that FBML will be taken away anytime soon due to the vast number of them that are currently in use. And I do believe that creating similar functionality in iFrames will cost far more than doing the same thing in FBML.
Having a few pages pre-loaded with FBML tabs may turn out to be a “life saver” for you.
Here are three videos that will show you how to add a Fan/Business page, and also how to add FBML boxes to those pages.
Video One ~ How to create a Facebook Fan/Business Page
Video Two ~ Intro to Facebook Markup Language (FBML) This is audio only!
Video Three ~ How to add the FBML Application
If you are reading this on Facebook, your RSS Reader, or in your email and can’t see the videos, click here to view this post on my blog.
And, if you want somebody to do this for you, get in touch right away…don’t wait until March 10, 2011 to do it…you will be out of time and out of luck!