With Facebook’s Static FBML deprecation date of March 18, 2011 having come and gone, organizations now need to create any new custom Facebook Page tabs using iFrames. According to this post on the Facebook developer blog:
“Starting Friday, March 18th, you will no longer be able to create new FBML apps and Pages will no longer be able to add the Static FBML app. While all existing apps on Pages using FBML or the Static FBML app will continue to work, we strongly recommend that these apps transition to iframes as soon as possible.”
Update: FBML will no longer be supported as of June 6, 2012. There will be a one month grace period, as it will be possible to disable the “FBML removal” migration and re-enable FBML until July 5, 2012.
However, iFrame-based Facebook Page tabs do take more time and effort to set up compared to Static FBML, unless you use a third party application. Here are some of the currently available options – both DIY and third party.
Update: with the new Facebook Page design that was made available on February 29, 2012 and that will be mandatory on March 30, 2012, iFrame pages can be 810 pixels wide.
“How To” Posts on Creating Facebook Page Tabs
If you’re the do it yourself type (or have a good Web developer) and are not intimidated by the concepts of creating an application in Facebook or pushing Web page code to a Web host, you can learn what you need to know about creating custom Facebook Page tabs by following step by step instructions that have been blogged by a number of companies.
In the paid instructions category, a group called FBMaxed sells not only extensive documentation and a methodology, but they also provide a number of templates for creating sharp looking Facebook Page tabs. Promoted via a squeeze page and an extensive affiliate network, FBMaxed costs $47. FBMaxed even provides custom video player code for video files that can be hosted on Amazon S3 or on another storage server.
Some of the benefits to setting up your own application are: you can have your own, custom icon for your Facebook Page tabs; you can control where your code is hosted; the solution is scalable if you have a large number of fans.
Free Custom Facebook Page Tab Applications
In addition to providing a free tutorial, the above mentioned HyperArts also offers a simple application called TabPress. TabPress is free for Pages that have under 5,000 Fans. Currently, TabPress only supports a single Facebook Page tab, but they are working on support for multiple tabs. If you don’t like HyperArt’s application’s custom icon, you can pay a one time fee of $399 for a white label version. HyperArts also provides a paid, multi-tab template for TabPress which allows for four tabs within a single Facebook Page tab.
Another, free application is Static HTML. Static HTML is not only free, but it supports up to twelve Page tabs via multiple applications.
Paid Facebook Page Tabs Applications
A hybrid of the above two sets of options is a paid application called TabSite. TabSite provides four packages, which range from free to $150 per year. TabSite provides a fully supported version of the free options mentioned above, and it also gives you more out of the box functionality, such as global headers/footers and contact forms. The Gold version lets you add your own custom tab icon.
Each TabSite is for one Facebook Page, so you would need to purchase multiple TabSites for multiple Pages.
Pagemodo is another provider that has a similar, freemium model.
Please comment below on other options. It’s still very early in the game, so there will likely be a proliferation of new options for custom Facebook Page tabs in the coming months.