All things considered, there are immense advantages as well as challenges if you decide to customize Facebook fan pages with iFrames. But then again, the only way to add new customization to your existing page or starting a new page from scratch is through using iFrames, at least for the time being.
Why Did Facebook Switch?
Many believe that the main reason for Facebook’s switch to iFrames from FBML is so that the social networking giant can unload the weight of carrying FBML-customized Facebook fan pages. As you probably know, FBML was an extremely popular application that millions of pages were using to customize their tabs and add more functionality to their content. But Facebook had to host all of the customized pages, which naturally meant that it was only a matter of time before they stopped carrying the load and transfer it back to the users. Thus, the adoption of iFrames.
What Exactly Are iFrames?
An iFrame is basically another HTML code that allows you to embed a Web page into another Web page, which in this case is your Facebook fan page. It essentially means that the responsibility of hosting your custom Facebook fan pages goes back to you and your server. Facebook will host the page itself and stream the content you upload to it via iFrames. In return, you get more flexibility in terms of the content you can add to your Facebook fan page.
What Content Can I Add Using iFrames?
Well, practically almost anything that you can do on your own site – from order forms, to product pages, to exclusive content areas, video, audio and dynamic design. In short, dynamic and rich content which you can design to conform to your other Internet properties and preserve your branding, all the while benefiting from Facebook’s inherent viral and buzz marketing capabilities. Page analytics and performance are also easier to track because you can embed your tracking code on your pages as well.
Are iFrame Facebook Fan Pages and Tabs Difficult to Create?
To create an iFrame-supported tab, you need to develop an app in the Facebook Developers website on which you’ll embed your content hosted by your server or web host provider. Once created, you can deploy this app to your Facebook page as another tab and use it just like you would any web page.
Of course, all of that assumes that you have server infrastructure and Web development know-how, or personnel to easily customize Facebook fan pages with iFrames. Small businesses and entrepreneurs will find it more difficult to employ these page customization projects, especially those with no prior coding experience. An alternative would be to find customized Facebook fan page developers or providers who can assist in creating the app, the iFrame-supported tab and hosting the content.