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Social Media Marketing for Business



December 5, 2010

Facebook’s Change From FBML to iFrames

December 5, 2010 | By | 19 Comments">19 Comments

***Updates UNDERLINED and BOLDED***

Everyone wants to know what will happen to their fan pages when Facebook changes from Static FBML to iframes. Facebook made the announcement back in August that they would be moving from the massively popular Static FBML app to iFrames. The FBML app has over 97,737,542 million users as of December 6th, 2010. With this kind of volume, this change will effect an enormous amount of people or about 1/6th of Facebook users. Or will it?

The skinny:

Facebook will continue supporting the creation of new FBML tabs [via applications] through Q4 2010, or the end of December. In January, Facebook will stop supporting the creation of NEW FBML tabs [via applications] but will continue to support previously created FBML pages. Yippee! This means all of your hard work and sweat equity you have put into your page will remain.

Here is a quote from Namita Gupta from the Facebook Developer blog:

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

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.

Here is the history of FBML:

– Launch Announced on FB Blog (v1.1) on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 12:30am

-Update Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 9:00pm

“End of Year Deprecations, Page Tab Update

In August, we announced that we are deprecating some infrequently used APIs and FBML tags at the end of the year. We encourage developers to make the necessary code changes soon, because these may be breaking changes.

We will continue letting developers create new FBML Page tab applications until Q1 2011, because we are still working on the iFrame implementation. We are also postponing the deprecation of fb:board until we offer the ability to export data

-Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Fran Larkin · Platform Product Marketing at Facebook said:

We want to give developers time to test and get comfortable with the iframe solution before it’s required, but we haven’t finalized the timing yet.

-Saturday, December 4th at 3:52pm

This was in response to the question of will FBML be allowed THROUGH January 2012 or not by James at Facebook:

we want everyone to move to iframe canvas apps as soon as possible.

-Saturday, December 5th, 2010

In a question directly asked on the FB Blog,

“Can I ask for further clarity on one point; will we be able to migrate an existing FBML tab application to the new iFrame methodology?, Douglas Purdy of Facebook replied: @ James. Yes, but you need to change the code on our page.”

Additionally, Douglas Purday of FB stated:

I’ll be very clear…

1. if you have an existing FBML page tab application, your tab is going to keep working.2. i’ll repeat, your tab is going to keep working now and after Q1 2011.3. that said, we want everyone to start using iframes, so we are going to make all _new_ page tabs and canvas apps using iframes as soon as we can.4. we had hoped that we would have iframe for tabs ready this year, but we are not ready.5. so we are delaying the roll-out until Q1 2011.6. after we roll it out, we will have some period before we make it default for new apps.

What does this mean for you? Create as many fan page tabs using FBML [via applications] as you can now because come January you have no guarantee you’ll be able to. Even worse, you won’t be able to easily change your FBML tabs to iframe ones without recoding them via . This process involves API keys, your own servers, and coding that, quite frankly, is not something an average person could easily understand or learn.

To summarize:

-       The creation of new FBML tabs between now and January 2011 will be allowed

-       After January 2011, no new FBML tabs can be created [via applications]

-       iFrames will need to be used for all future Fan Page customization [via applications]

-       Facebook will leave the FBML tabs you have already created up and active even after January 2011.

What is the best part about this change? For all of you that used to code applications and canvas pages using Facebook’s app development dashboard, Lujure lets you create fan page tabs that won’t be effected by Facebook’s changes.

Did you find this update helpful? Feel free to post questions below!




Nathan Latka has supported the growth of over 100,000 small businesses using social media and data driven campaigns — all without a college degree.