Facebook is, as usual, in the news this week. Recently, we discussed Facebook Places, the social media giant’s wildly popular check-in app, which allows users to share their whereabouts. Ideally, this leads to increased foot traffic for brick-and-mortar shops, as those “check ins” show up in users’ activity feeds, sparking interest among their Facebook friends. Before those friends head to a store, however, they often click the check-in link to visit the business’ Facebook page. And now, thanks to Facebook’s shift away from FBML and back to iFrames, those business pages will look and function better than ever.
What are iFrames? Wait. Back up. What is FBML?
FBML stands for “Facebook Markup Language.” It’s essentially a Facebook-specific version of HTML, and it’s on the way out. Moving into the spotlight: iFrames. iFrames utilize HTML to allow one webpage to operate within another. In complete non-tech-speak, this means it’s easier than ever to maintain a uniform corporate image across platforms. Your business’ Facebook page can literally mirror your business’ website, plus, Facebook provides all sorts of nifty tracking and personalization tools to allow increasingly customized user experiences and business-to-customer interactions.
What about my current Facebook business page?
As of March 11, 2011, Facebook will no longer accept new FBML-coded pages or applications. However, existing Facebook business pages and applications utilizing FBML coding are safe and will continue to function normally.
Not sure if you have an FBML page? If you paid a developer to build your Facebook business page and your page has company-specific graphics or applications on it, odds are you have an FBML page. Here’s an example: TribalVision on Facebook.
If it’s not broke…
Facebook is famous, or perhaps infamous, for its updates. If history is any indication, while FBML is still supported, it’s a pretty safe bet that future updates will not benefit FBML-based pages. This means those business’ pages will slowly begin to look outdated and obsolete. It also means that, while business owners are often hesitant to jump on board with the Next Big Thing every time one comes along, in this case, it may be worthwhile and ultimately necessary in order to remain competitive in the social media market.
…why fix it?
Your Facebook page is often the first impression a potential customer has of your business. How well is your Facebook page representing you?
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