Facebook has stated a broad and vague date of by the end of this year that they will allow no new FBML applications to be created
All Facebook was the first to alert the web development community to a small post yesterday on the Facebook Developers blog that as part of the Facebook platform roadmap update, FBML would be killed off. It was always interesting that Facebook had chosen not to select an open source platform when their first launched FBML but with a growing audience passing 500,000,000 members, it was understood they would have the scale to make it work. It seems that Facebook started to listen to the agency and web development community with its announcement that it will be moving its platform to iFrames for canvas applications and Fanpage tabs, which they say will reduce the technical differences between developing for applications on Facebook.com.
iFrames to be Standard? – The problem is that Facebook hasn’t actually started supporting iFrames for Fanpage tabs and it may actually be several months before they are supported. This is an expensive shift for existing Facebook canvas applications who will have to respect their projects that have already been customised to work with FBML, but newer projects will benefit in being able to built with iFrames from the ground up. The issue is that development cycles will be massively impacted as if you have a launch date of Quarter 4, 2010 do you select iFrames and risk that Facebook will be ready or do you build the application in FBML and worry about Facebook changing the rules at a later stage.
FBML Cut-off Date? Facebook has stated a broad and vague date of by the end of this year that they will allow no new FBML applications to be created, but where that line is drawn in the sand is yet to be decided leaving web developers and possibly clients in the lurch.
Facebook Fanpages Resized – Last month Facebook announced that they had set a deadline for the 23rd August for the reduced tab width limit to 520 pixels, this has already been implemented on a number of accounts and requires most custom pages to be resized. So again Facebook is forcing developers to rebuild their tabs for their pages in FBML and then start again in several months using iFrames.
Facebook Removing Application Tabs? Facebook has made a broad decision once again to take it upon itself to remove more functionality that will only affect exposure for your Facebook applications on your users Facebook profiles, but at this stage will continue on Facebook fanpages.
So its unclear where web developers and agencies should be scheduling their projects, I would even advise to consider holding off on large projects until a more structure roadmap for the FBML transition has been made public or you might budget in for building a second platform at a later stage in a iFrame.