On October 1st, 2011, I’ll be walking on Kaanapali Beach on Maui. While I am doing that, those of you with custom Facebook fan page “tabs” that are not hosted on a server that has a SSL Certificate will find that their expensive custom tab is no longer displayed.
For the rest of us, this requirement by Facebook that all apps and custom fan pages be hosted on a secure server means that we will have an added layer of security as we cruise around on Facebook. If you have bought any thing online, or if you use online banking, you have been the beneficiary of secure browsing. Here is how you can tell if the site you are visiting is using SSL: it will have https in the address bar and not http.
Seems like a small change, but it is quite significant. That little added “s” means that all traffic between your computer and the web server that you are visiting is encrypted. Up until just recently, none of the traffic between you and Facebook was encrypted. This was especially precarious if you were using public WiFi to access Facebook. Coffee shops anyone?
For the owners of Facebook Custom Fan Pages, now would be a good time to get in touch with the person who built your custom tab and find out if you will be affected. If your page is using the old FBML method you are safe (unless you have an image on the page…those are hosted elsewhere) as those pages are hosted by Facebook. But, if your custom tab has it’s own icon next to it (and not the fbml icon) you need to find out from your provider if the page is being hosted on a secure server. Since the change takes place on October 1st, you’ve only got a few weeks to get this handled.
My guess is that you will be ok, as the designers have known about this since June. If you have designed your own tab and are hosting it on your WordPress blog, you might be in trouble. Facebook has precious little information on their developer site, so if you need some help on this get back to me asap…time is a-wasting!