Facebook announced last month they were changing the coding they use to create pages and apps on their social media platform. As well as a number of other design and feature changes, it’s Facebook’s decision to switch to iFrames that’s hitting the headlines.
With social media platforms such as Facebook evolving the way brands market online; with these recent changes being hailed as a success. This is because they’ll affect the way brands are able to interact with their users. Let’s take a look at what all this means…
What’s it all about?
Well at the moment, Facebook uses what’s called FBML (this is basically Facebook’s own mark up language – very similar to HTML). This coding is used to embed social content onto your own page. However from 11th March 2011, Facebook will be moving away from this type of coding in favour of iFrames.
So what are iFrames? Well, they’re not new, but they’re much more universal than FBML. iFrame’s are actually an HTML tag and this means that page and app developers are able to embed one page into another and integrate many more plug ins.
What does it mean?
It’s being hailed as good news for brands. A move away from the old format means a move away from uniform pages. A change to iFrames allows page and app developers to create unique pages relevant to their brands.
This gives brands a better way to engage and interact with their users. Existing users of a brand’s website may see a familiar Facebook page, as websites can now be directly imported into Facebook. This could as mean that Facebook could act as a way of hosting sites.
So what now?
Well, it’s unlikely that anything will change overnight – jut because Facebook are phasing in this type of coding doesn’t actually mean that the marketing departments of businesses across the world will actually take advantage of what it can do.
Prior to these developments, social media was a slave to its own programming. A recent study revealed that only 3% of respondents were influenced by social media to visit a certain site. [See: Social Media Marketing: Is It Worth It?] With social media at its infancy, the message was that tried and tested marketing strategies were preferred – but will the recent developments change this situation?
Whilst the answer to that question is unclear, it is certainly worth paying attention to. As with any marketing strategy, it’s crucial to develop an integrated strategy. Social Media and Facebook will offer unparalleled exposure for a brand – however it doesn’t always guarantee clicks.
With a deeper level of interaction or even a full website integrated into Facebook then this may improve clicks and sales. Brands will even be able to track conversions more effectively as a result of the changes – provided that brands actually take advantage of the full potential of iFrames. It’s really a case of seeing it all unfold from here.