As Facebook Standardizes, It Kills FBML This Week

In April 2010, Facebook announced the Social Graph API.  The Social Graph API uses REST, JSON, and OAuth for Authentication.  It relies on standards much more than the original Facebook Platform.  The trend toward standardization has continued at Facebook.  With the announcement of iFrames support for Pages,  Facebook has pulled the plug on their proprietary FBML format.   No new FBML applications may be created after Friday.

Facebook Markup Language (FBML) was included in the first release of the Facebook platform May 2007 and performed as HTML for Facebook.  Apps could be created simply and easily with commands like: fb:profile-pic to display a user's profile photo.  FBML concepts live on in the Facebook JavaScript API's support for  XFBML tags.  XFBML is a small subset of FBML.  Facebook now refers to these tags a social plugins.

Facebook pages  include information, photos, apps, and the ability for fans to  "like"  and interact with a brand. Pages are used by everyone from bands like Bruce Springsteen to brands like Pepsi.

Support for iFrames allows developers to use a standards-based web programming model (HTML, JavaScript, and CSS) to create Facebook apps on these  pages.

BuddyMedia has created a platform to support the creation of Facebook pages.  Its Blog says that the iFrame announcement is  "going to change the way brands interact with their fans forever."

Past platform changes on Facebook and communication about those changes had been a source of frustration for some developers. Facebook has been addressing developer outreach and support through their Operation Developer Love program.  There are weekly blog posts, bug report, and fair warning on announcements.