the new Facebook business pages: iFrame and iwipa

So a few months ago, Facebook released that they will be discontinuing their Static FBML Application to assist businesses in creating customized tabs on Facebook. (The app was released in 2007 that was initially started to have businesses create their own apps on Facebook). Well ladies and gents, that time has come.

Here is a quote from the Facebook developers blog from December 3, 2010: “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”.

On December 4, 2010, they released: “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.”

So here at the creative offices, we updated and created an all new Facebook page for us. (Click here to see our page). In this post, we will go over some of the bigger changes, as well as our favorite things about the new iFrame and iwipa for Facebook.

First off, Facebook now fully supporting the new iFrame. We took it a step further and got into iwipa, which a huge step forward for Facebook business pages turning into micro websites. This means that developers are free to use popular, simple and standards-based web programming model compared to FBML.  The program we used (seen below) is iwipa (explained as Static FBML + iFrame + Welcome tab). There are so many things to be excited about. Here are a few of our favorite things:

Welcome to the microsite. The new “Welcome Tab” is the micro website. Below you will see our new Welcome Tab that will showcase our micro site on Facebook with a customized header (“Are You Creative?”) and tabs within that tab (Welcome, Services, Clients, etc).

Facebook’s iwipa gives a great opportunity to showcase your YouTube and/or Vimeo videos with a simple embed and coding it directly to the app.

Creating sub tabs is a great feature that is a little easier to showcase different photos, docs, jpegs, etc compared to Static FMBL.

It is also another creative way to showcase your other social sites with icons and not a list of hyperlinks in your info tab.

 

 

So how easy was it to create the new Facebook page? Level of difficulty depends on what you know. Facebook does offer great “How to videos” to explain things to you on the way. However, it took us several hours to build the new Facebook page, and if you don’t have the images you want to use, then it will take longer.

So here are our top 7 reason why we love the new iFrame/iwipa:

1. ANALYTICS. You can track your visitors using Google Analytics. All you have to do is setup a Google Analytics profile and use the Facebook domain.

2. Allows for businesses to tag photos and add keywords to their new customized pages, just like SEO practices. At this moment, we’re undetermined if this will effect Google rankings, or effect a new search Facebook may launch in the near future. No matter the reason, it is a great addition.

3. The opportunity to add video as a simple embed through their coding is a great way to enhance your Facebook page.

4. Total creative control of your tabs. The tabs we selected were similar to the original Facebook tabs, but they have numerous style selections to enhance the tab looks and usage. Not to mention, they also allow the opportunity to create sub-tabs/drop tabs (yea, just like in a website!).

5. Cleans up and de-clutters the basic tabs under the photo so the other important tabs are visible and not hidden (events, polls, reviews, etc)

6. The ability to create your own header/footer. It is a great way to make a statement, place your logo, and take your page to a new level.

7. Ability to hide tabs much easier now to people who are not fans. A great way for restaurants to use this to promote coupons to members who are only members of the page.

 

Again to check out the new iFrame/iwipa page in complete use, go to our Facebook page http://Facebook.com/CreativeStrategy

Stay tuned for our next post, we will go over some quick tips on how to get started in iwipa. Any questions, email us at info@creativestrategyagency.com.

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