Facebook Moving Toward IFrames Over FBML for Canvas Apps and Page Tabs

Facebook today is announcing new updates to its Platform product roadmap to give developers more visibility on what’s coming down the pipe. One of the more important notes for developers of both canvas applications and application tabs for Pages is that Facebook is moving toward IFrames over FBML.

First, Facebook says that by the end of this year, it will “no longer allow new FBML applications to be created, so all new canvas applications and Page tabs will have to be based on IFrames and our JavaScript SDK.” However, Facebook says it will “continue to support existing implementations of the older authentication mechanism as well as FBML on Page tabs and applications.”

This marks the completion of a shift since the Platform launched in 2007. Originally, Facebook encouraged developers to built their apps in FBML, Facebook’s Platform-specific markup language, while apps built with iFrames experienced some functionality limits.  However, over time developers (and Facebook) have moved toward the iFrame model, which offers some architectural benefits, as explained well by former Facebook Platform engineering lead Charlie Cheever.

Second, Facebook says that it will begin supporting IFrames for Page tabs “in the next few months.” This means that the way developers build applications on Page tabs will be consistent with the dominant way they are built on canvas pages, which should simplify development processes (and support costs).

Finally, Facebook says it will begin using OAuth 2.0 for authentication on all Facebook apps on Facebook.com, the web, and mobile devices. Developers can start testing the “OAuth 2.0 for Canvas” migration on the app settings page, which Facebooks says “will become the default for all new applications during the next couple months.”

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Leave a Reply

22 Responses to “Facebook Moving Toward IFrames Over FBML for Canvas Apps and Page Tabs”

  1. Jamie Ellis says:

    With the removing of Application tabs from profiles by the end of the year people going to see that with Aug 23rd victimising the users with a customisation slaughter bath!

    The space removed might be better suited for tabs such as Links, Groups, Video, Questions, Places and Likes [3 of these do not currently exist]

    I also would say Events, Notes and Marketplace would be first victims to not having proper Application Tabs because they less likely to be looked at or less belong on a user profile.

    Out of the 3 Events deserve it more considering while Marketplace will not fit the criteria of value and while Notes needs alot of work done even after its recent revamp that puts it closer to this decade but still light years behind Tumbr WordPress and anything that could be used to publish a blog

  2. jimspice says:

    iFrames? 2001 called. They want their markup back.

  3. CP proximity Developer blog » Blog Archive » Facebook eliminará el FBML de las aplicaciones en 2011 - Gestión del conocimiento e I+D says:

    [...] dejo a continuación el artículo original. [...]

  4. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Facebook says:

    [...] Facebook Moving Toward IFrames Over FBML for Canvas Apps and Page Tabs [...]

  5. facebook templates says:

    This is a very big blow for the large app developers on Facebook such as MafiaWars and FarmVille. They should react fast to be able to save their clients and app.

  6. Andrew Jones says:

    Anyone that says this is anything but a good thing for app developers clearly is not an app developer.

    True, maybe iFrames are old school, but it’s the only way to really build anything worthwhile within Facebook. And tabs being FBML-only has been the bane of our existence since the beginning. You can’t do anything useful within them, and everything feels like a hack or a workaround. Facebook is finally giving developers a way to build something on tabs, rather than having tabs just be a routing mechanism to get users over to the canvas.

  7. Jeanne says:

    I don’t understand all the hoopla. I’ve been creating iframes on tabs on facebook fan pages for quite a while. I create a canvas app (which is just an iframe of another source site), and then add it to the fan page via a tab. Voila – a little mini site embedded in a tab.

    Is someone suggesting that at some point I will NOT be able to do that? Because that really would be bad! But right now it works like a breeze!

  8. Art says:

    You can do that Jeanne? how do you “add it to the fan page via a tab” ? I have been trying to find out how to do this since I read your comment this morning!

  9. Amber says:

    Jeanne – I’d love to hear more! We have been struggling to learn how to create iframes for our orgnanization’s page. Would you be willing to share? You can e-mail me at ashollenberger@4-H.org.

  10. RiskEraser says:

    I thought you might find this interesting, how to add a Live Chat Tab to a Facebook page:


  11. Learner says:

    Hi Jeane
    Could you please let me know on how to get the created canvas app inside a fan page tab? I am also wondering how you did it .. the same question as Art and Amber… Please email me at classmail@rediffmail.com

  12. Shovan Sargunam says:

    Good I did not read the FBML Book!

  13. Eye on the Industry: Making the Move to Facebook Commerce says:

    [...] specifically to add a storefront for your business right on your Facebook page. Additionally, it’s reported Facebook will soon move towards incorporating iFrames, which will enable companies to import their [...]

  14. Carol says:

    If FB supports iframes, how come I can’t get my Google calendar to show up on a Facebook Static FBML page? Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. None of the Google FB apps that I’ve found work. I would like my Google calendar to be on my FB page – any suggestions?

  15. Start der neuen Facebook Pages | SocialObjects says:

    [...] neuen Facebook Pages können jetzt neben den klassischen FBML Apps auch die lange angekündigten iFrame Apps beherbergen, was Entwicklern deutlich mehr Freiraum [...]

  16. Facebook Rolls Out New Brand Page Design | Wildfire Social Media Marketing Blog says:

    [...] Support: Facebook has indicated that while FBML apps will remain functional for the time being, eventually they are looking to phase out FBML as the development option for applications within tabs on [...]

  17. The Complete Guide to the New Facebook Brand Pages Redesign | feel says:

    [...] Support: Facebook has indicated that while FBML apps will remain functional for the time being, eventually they are looking to phase out FBML as the development option for applications within tabs on [...]

  18. How to Outsmart Facebook’s New iFrames by using Hy.ly | Hy.ly Blog says:

    [...] last year, according to Inside Facebook, Facebook has been warning Fan Page owners that the Static FBML applications that they were using [...]

  19. MyGuestlist.com.au – The New Facebook Pages (As of March 2011) says:

    [...] Facebook will get rid of FBML as their development focus moves to iFrames for business Pages. This means that the way developers [...]

  20. An Open Letter to Facebook « David Binkowski says:


  21. Lowriders, Hot Rods, Custom Trucks, Modified Cars says:

    [...] dynamic pages to sit within your Facebook page was to use FBML. However August 2010 Facebook announced their move to use iFrames for inserting dynamic content which has now become the preferred method [...]

  22. Xavier Vespa – Youtube tests iframe embeds says:

    [...] here. First, a few weeks back, we could read on Inside Facebook that Facebook was actually moving away from FBML and closer to iframes. If the number one Website in the world starts to use iframes massively, I think we will all start [...]

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