Facebook switching to iframes and depreciating FBML

A recent blog post over at Mashable discusses what Marketers need to know about the new switch to Facebook iframes. There is a new way to present custom content on Facebook pages, using iframes instead of the current tabs and FBML (Facebook Mark up Language). FBML is a subset of HTML (the languge to present content on the world wide web) that has additional Facebook specific functions. The older technology will still be supported just not enhanced any longer. In the future, additions will need to be done using iframes.

Iframes allow you to embed a web page within another webpage. This will assist in the development process for adding applications to Facebook pages. Applications can be created using the common traditional methods and then framed into Facebook pages. There will be some limited information about the Facebook user available through the API.

Since the iframe is actually a page on another website, the ability to track conversions and analytics from activity on that page will be easy for the marketer. A visit to a facebook page with an iframe from your own website will appear like a visit to your own site in your reporting tools.

Although one of the arguments for the iframe functionality in the article states that users tend to convert better within facebook rather than getting the users to leave facebook and visit a website, I would tend to say that this is irrelevant because the current conversion within facebook cannot be compared with a conversion outside. Yes there is some familiarity with having the facebook wrapper around your conversion form. But it is too soon to say if real ecommerce could benefit from using the facebook iframe. 

I guess we will just have to see what the future brings.

It looks like more development work for the web programmers.


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