Editor’s note: As of March 30, 2012, Facebook pages will get the Timeline format. The change means you can no longer have a default landing tab. But custom apps will continue to work, including fan gates. Each tab/app still has a unique URL so you can drive traffic from inside or outside Facebook to any ‘landing page’ you wish. Last week, Facebook finished the changeover of its business pages to the new personal profile-style layout. One of the big changes that had a lot of business owners and marketers up in arms was the elimination of Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) in favor of iFrames to design custom tabs. (Note: if you had the Static FBML app intalled prior to March 11 – don’t worry. Your tabs still work!)
Luckily for those of us who were not relishing the prospect of creating our own iFrame app, (it confused the heck out of me, when I checked it out!) several enterprising companies have come to the rescue by developing free (in most cases) apps that make use of iFrames.
As a result, you can still create custom tabs for your Facebook page, and the result looks as good as, if not better, than those you were able to create with Static FBML.
Here are a few apps that I’ve checked out and can recommend:
1. iFrames for Pages
Wildfire Interactive already provides contest apps for Facebook, so I guess it was only natural for them to get into iFrames. iFrames for Pages enables page owners to easily create simple HTML pages with what Wildfire calls “Fan Gates” – essentially fan-only content. This is a great feature because you can reward people who “like” your page with coupons for your product or service. This app does require you to submit your name and email address before installing it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Several days after I installed the app, I received an email from Wildfire offering to provide assistance with the app, if I had any questions.
2. Static HTML: iframe tabs
This application lets you render HTML or FBML for enhanced Page customization. Like the Wildfire app, it provides options for fan-only content, plus the ability to add 2 more tabs to your page. (A handy feature if you want to make your Facebook page look and act more like a website.) One thing I like about this app, as opposed to the one from Wildfire, is that you don’t have to provide any personal information.
Here is an example of the custom page for non-fans and fans from photography studio Ever After Visuals:
By the way – you’ll notice I omitted the reward code in the picture. You’ll have to like the page yourself to get it! 🙂
3. Hosted iFrame
Hosted iFrame allows you to copy/paste your HTML code or XFBML code to make your Facebook page look like your website. Another excellent feature is that it allows you to track your traffic by entering your Google Analytics tracking code in the app settings. Hosted iFrame will also host up to 25MB of images and CSS files that you upload.
On the downside, this app is only free until May 1st. After that date, it will remain free as long as you have fewer than 250 fans. After that, there will be a monthly charge.
If you’ve tried any other iFrame apps that you can recommend, please share them in the comments section below!