How does the sunsetting of FBML affect your Facebook strategy?
With the recent announcement by Facebook that FBML is being phased out, I can not help but wonder about the impact that changes like this have on businesses. This is one of those things that makes you realize you have to be cautious about what marketing channels you invest into, when you have little or no control over how other peoples’ decisions can impact your business.
FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language which was the required method of use for creating landing pages on your Facebook Fan Page. There was an app for FBML that had to be installed to create a landing page and hundreds of companies and solutions sprouted in recent years around the use of FBML. Many of these solutions will soon be rendered useless.
Starting March 11, 2011, businesses will no longer be able to create new FBML apps and Pages will no longer be able to add the Static FBML app.
FBML itself is not difficult, but it does pose limitations to marketers and so in its place, Facebook will now be supporting iFrames, which gives more control and flexibility to marketers creating landing pages for Facebook. In the long run, this is probably a good move for everyone, but the immediate repercussions will not go unnoticed.
If you have FBML pages on your Facebook Fan page then you will need to take action and convert those to iFrames before too long. Even though existing tab pages won’t be destroyed, you will still have to come up with a new plan for creating new ones. HubSpot did a couple of posts that get into detail about this change from FBML to iFrames and also about the recent changes to Facebook Fan Pages which you can read for specifics, but consider the fact that Facebook can and assuredly will make decisions in the future that can have immediate detrimental effects on your business.