Facebook Shares Custom Tags with Developers

By: Chris Crum - January 13, 2009

Today Facebook announced "custom tags" for developers for use with FBML (Facebook Markup Language) applications. FBML is the language used to create the Facebook apps you have come to know and love.

"Initially, FBML included only tags that Facebook created," explains Yariv Sadan at the Facebook Devloper Blog. "With custom tags, any developer can create new FBML tags. Developers can use these tags in their own applications, or they can share their custom tags with the entire Facebook developer community as pre-built FBML components."

In fact, Facebook has a wiki called the Custom Tags Directory for developers to add their apps. So far, it includes entries from applications like iLike, Causes, Graffiti, and Visual Bookshelf.

Facebook Custom Tags Directory

Custom tags are only available internally within Facebook, but will soon become available for sites integrated with Facebook Connect. Of course questions of security are bound to come up.

"FBML, or Facebook Markup Language as it’s called, was intended to ensure that malicious apps couldn’t inject nasty code into the browsers of users," writes Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web. "We assume that the new markup will have security taken care of by server side processing and this could enable an explosion in feature sharing and code efficiency."

Assuming that Facebook has thought these things through, users of the social network can probably expect some pretty cool things to come out of this news. Perhaps we’ll see an increase in the usefulness of Facebook apps in general.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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    I guess it’s no surprise that Google’s maintaining the overall lead. They have superior search technology, greater vision and have executed some major strategic acquisitions to their favor.

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    That’s cool about the custom tags…I swear- is there ANYTHING that Google doesn’t already have its hands on?

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    Great idea :)