One of the most proliferating complaints about the Facebook platform for both users and developers has been their constant upgrading and change to the interface. Perhaps it is human nature that makes people prone to dislike change, but Facebook has managed to build a reputation for unwarranted tinkering which requires some form of user action. Worse, many of these changes have occurred without any warning or regard for if users want it or not. As the comic below shows however, most changes have been generally accepted with time.One recent change change to the Facebook platform that directly affects businesses was the switch to Iframe from FBML (Facebook Markup Language) for all Facebook pages. While they haven’t totally eliminated the tabs feature, the overall design of the pages makes their use obsolete.
The problem here is that many users who could create pages on their own have now been left with skills rendered obsolete. While Iframes is ultimately a more powerful and flexible tool for businesses, in many ways it is more difficult. This creates a dilemma for many companies looking to develop their business on Facebook beyond the basics.
Stan Schroeder, European editor at Mashable writes:
if a company asked me if it’s worth it to create something from the Facebook API, I’d say it’s a risky situation since Facebook so easily changes things solely for their own benefit. Tabs are one great example of that. I would never expect them to change such a great feature. One that really gave users and brands the feeling of ownership but, alas they did…
Will this ultimately stunt creativity and lead to a more generic and uniform presence of businesses on Facebook or will businesses and developers constantly be playing catch up to see how they can leverage the platform in a standout way? You be the judge.