Is Facebook Partnering with iPhone to make iFrames?

Is Facebook Partnering with iPhone to make iFrames? (part 2)

In our last blog post, we discussed the fact that the almighty Facebook changed the way the game is played in terms of its Fan Pages.  If you missed our discussion about their decision to use iframes as the new standard to create Fan Pages, be sure to check  out our first Facebook iframes article.  In this post, we are going to delve a little bit deeper into what it will take to create a Facebook Fan Page using iframes.

How to use iframes to make a fan page

One of the major changes that has begun in this whole process is that Facebook will no longer host your content.  It used to be that you simply uploaded your content onto your fan page using FBML and other Facebook applications.  Now with the use of iframes, the creator must host their content on a server other than Facebook.  In layman’s terms, your content must be contained on another website besides Facebook.  (Oh,yeah, if you don’t have a web site yet for your local business, please visit our web design page.)  So it used to be that you could get by as a local business owner without a traditional website and just rely on a fan page.  Well, not anymore, because you are basically screwed on two counts.  No website, no fan page.  Unless you can convince somebody to host your content on their site.  Not likely.  So why does having a website matter?  Simple.  The iframe will connect your fan page to the relevant content on your website and show that content on your fan page.  (SEO hint: you may want to noindex your facebook content on your website to avoid duplicate content.  I’m curious to get your comments if you are also a SEO guru on this idea)  So, basically, the iframe is a portal that pulls content from whatever website you are using, and posts that content onto the fan page.  The good news is with these new iframe parameters is that you can basically start creating some really nice mini-sites on Facebook if you know what you are doing.  The bad news is that if you don’t know what you are doing, then you are going to have to hire somebody to do it for you or take the time to learn how to write PHP code.  Good luck with that!

But if you choose to go the route less traveled, here is a basic guide to creating a fan page using iframes.

  1. Create your content and use your FTP software to upload it to your hosting server.  Make sure you keep your content width within 520 pixels to comply with FB.
  2. Go to the Facebook Developers site.
  3. Create a new app by clicking on the appropriate “Set Up New App”  icon.
  4. Rename the app to whatever you like.  You might want to make it the same name that you plan on using for the tab.
  5. Do the legal stuff with the TOS and the anti-spam stuff with the captcha form.
  6. Complete your profile application.  It is good if you have an icon to add here.
  7. Integrate your application into your fan page.
  8. Configure your page so the tab appears where you like it. It cannot go higher than the “Wall” and “Info” tabs.  You can still make it your default landing page by editing your “Managing Permissions”.

That’s the skinny of it.  There is a little more to it than just this, but I really don’t want to overwhelm anyone.  If you are a local business owner, you should be investing your precious time by performing your core competencies, while delegating your shortcomings to those who are strong in other areas.  Remember, time is money, right?  It would be best to hire somebody to do this for you, even if it isn’t us.  In the meantime, a quick fix is a new application that you can use for free.  Just do a Google search for Wildfire facebook app.  It will be free forever if you use it within the next couple of months.  It is a little limited.  If you need help creating images, then let us know.  We are currently working on our fan page.  Please “like” our fan page at the top right of this blog and you can follow the development of our fan page.  So what do you think of these new Facebook iframes?  Do you like them or not?  Have some courage and start the controversy by making an outrageous comment below!

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Is Facebook Partnering with iPhone to make iFrames?

Is Facebook Partnering with iPhone to make iFrames? (part 1)

So today is the BIG day!  Do you know why?  Because Facebook is once again changing and evolving!  If you are a business owner, then no doubt you’ve been told that you must have a Facebook Fan Page.  So, without really knowing why or how to actually leverage this medium, the average local business owner went onto Facebook and created their page, hoping to explode their social media marketing.  The next question had to be “Now what? How do I actually use this property to make more money or get more customers?”  Well, that is for a different post.  The reason being it was relatively simple to create a Fan Page.  But to be able to customize it was a little bit tricky.  Facebook has been using its own “language” so to speak, called FBML (FaceBook Markup Language).  So with a little bit of education and guidance, you could do some pretty cool things to modify your Fan Page by installing an application and configuring it.  Facebook made it pretty easy to set up your page, host the images and info, and make it look good.  And most people didn’t need to hire a programmer or coder to get it done.  But that is all going to change starting today.

What the heck is an “iFrame”?

So today is the day when Facebook officially launches its new iframes platform.  (By the way, facebook  iFrames have nothing to do with the iPhone.  So no partnership between Facebook and iPhone… for now.)  And the FBML starts to go “bye-bye”!  Let’s face it…. Facebook wants to dominate the web landscape and is looking to keep more users on their platform longer.  It makes their company more valuable and allows them to monetize it so you can keep using it for free.  So, to allow people to do even more customization on their Fan Pages, Facebook is shifting from its own FBML to the use of iframes.  I can already hear many of you thinking, “What is an iframe anyway?”  Iframe stands for “inline frame” and is simply a way for programmers and/or developers to take an HTML document from one site and embed it inside another HTML document on a website.  Sorry if I lost you there with all the technobabble gobbledygook. It simply means that you can take content from one website that you have and import that content onto another site, such as Facebook.  The good news about this is that you can create pages with a whole lot more customization and get consistent branding between your website and your Fan Page.  The bad news is that it just got way more complicated to actually do it.  This means most business owners are now going to have to hire people like us (shameless self-promotional plug inserted here…lol) to create fan pages and moderate them.  Unless you know certain programming codes and have plenty of time outside of actually doing your business, you are out of luck.  Now, on a brighter note, those of you who have existing FBML fan pages are in luck as Facebook will grandfather your page into this new era.  However, there will be no more direct support of this system and you cannot create any new pages using FBML.  All future pages must be built using the Facebook iframes model.  So how will this all work?

Stay tuned as we will delve into that even deeper in the next episode of ….the Facebook iframes saga!  (basically come back to check on the next post!)

For those of you more savvy about iframes and this new change… whaddya think?  Make a comment, eh?

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