An Overview of Facebook Markup Language (FBML)

Facebook is one of the widely used social networking sites. Since its launch in 2004, it has won the hearts of people across the world. It is the Brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. As of January, 2011 Facebook has an active user base of approximately 600 million people. Now, that’s an impressive number!

Facebook launched their own platform for complementing their API in 2007, which uses FBML. It stands for Facebook Markup Language which is similar to HTML. If one has experience in using HTML then FBML is quite easy to use. However, if one has not used HTML before, still FBML can be used very easily. It allows one to write browser interrupted code to render elements on a Facebook page or application. FBML allows one to build Facebook applications that deeply integrate into a user’s Facebook experience. Prior to this there was FQL (Facebook Query Language) which evolved into the Facebook API.

FBML has the ability to add newsletter subscription forms, download e-books, and other HTML-based elements. One should have the working knowledge of HTML in order to use this. It allows one to use regular HTML tags and is extremely flexible for the programmer to build an application or function. FBML is used to customize the look and feel of applications that the developers create.

This language is a modified version of HTML with some discarded and other features. Some CSS attributes are removed for safety reasons, and it has a unique set of tags. It is a remarkable application that allows customizing the Facebook fan page. By adding Facebook FBML application into a fan page, one can make a website page right in Facebook and have the opportunity to make a unique branded Facebook fan page for the business.

Below are some basics for using Facebook static FBML –

  • javaScript can’t be used in FBML page without user interaction. One can also use Facebook JavaScript (FBJS) in page.
  • Static FBML can only be added to Facebook fan page such as public profiles, business pages etc.
  • Maximum width of Facebook FBML page is 520px.
  • One should not use <style type=”text/css”> tag in FBML. Though it works in most browsers but create some problem in Internet Explorer. Rather try to use external style sheet via <link href=”http://yourdomain.com/layout/style.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” />
  • To add an application in the fan page one must have to be administrator of that page
  • Include HTML/CSS only between <body> and </body> tags. No <html> , <head> ,meta tag etc.

Here is some most basic usage information of Facebook application. Facebook Applications have become very popular now days. Experienced programmers will find out an extremely straight forward development method for Facebook application. The process of application development is so simple that can attract programmers for work with it.

About The Author

Mr. Maulik Shah, the CEO of Bizteh Consultancy, has nurtured the company with his technocratic and entrepreneurial expertise, and also expresses his thoughts frequently on this blog. He can be found churning some brain storming ideas, if not involved talking with his clients.