Create a Facebook Application
If you're ready to take your business or your app idea to a social networking level, a Facebook app can help make this happen. Though there is a large body of tutorial and instructional documents online, a quality app should be approached with the same depth as a new website. After all, the data for your app will come from coded pages that you upload to an online server. If you have no experience with this, you may need the assistance of someone knowledgeable about coding.
Preparing to Make Your Facebook App
- Identify what social media can do for your business. Knowing this information will help you decide whether or not a Facebook App is worth the time (and potentially the cost) it will take to create. Do an online search of similar business, look into blogs written by people in your industry, but whatever you do, don't expect a Facebook app to solve all your business problems.
- Conceptualize your application. What kind of effect do you want to achieve? Do you simply want to make a feature available to your clients? Knowing what you want your app to do will make it easier for you to accomplish that goal.
- Try to have as clear an image in your head as possible. In the event that you don't have programming skills, you may have to describe what you want to someone who will then write the code for your application. A clear image of this will make conveying what you need to your programmer a cinch.
- Brainstorm effective strategies and designs. You never know what will make your app go viral and create a boom in business, but by brainstorming and demoing content before release, you will have a much clearer idea of what will work and what will not.
- Make quality your standard. Even if your app is highly functional, poor integration with Facebook can make it look unprofessional or unfinished, which might put off other users. High resolution images, cool graphics, and clean formatting don't guarantee your success, but these will go a long way towards making your app a contender among professionally produced apps.
- Decide on user interaction. How will users communicate with you through the app, and how will you communicate with your users? Think about the kind of people who will be using your app and what they will want to know. Then think about how you can deliver this information through your app. Other things to keep in mind:
- What should users see in the application box on their profile page?
- Why should users visit their Canvas page regularly?
- What incentives are there for users to invite their friends?
- Set a development schedule. Especially if you are working with a team, but even if you are working by yourself or a single programmer on this project, make sure you come up with a schedule you feel is fair and confirm it with your team.
Some aspects of programming will take longer than others, so be aware that your schedule might change to account for those difficulties.
- Setting a development schedule will help keep you on task while establishing valuable work standards for your team.
Creating a Facebook App
- Explore Facebook's developer page (developers.facebook.com). Here you can find tutorials, explanations, and tools to make your Facebook app the best possible. This is also where you will register as a developer and download the developer app.
- Register as a developer. This is as simple as clicking the My Apps button from the top navigation bar and agreeing with the terms and conditions in the subsequent pop-up box. After accepting terms and conditions you'll be ready to use Facebook Canvas.
- Choose canvas as your platform. Facebook refers to the blank pages where your app content will live as "canvases." On the developer website, select Canvas by clicking on "My Apps" from the top navigation bar, clicking "Add New App" in the following drop-down menu, and selecting "Facebook Canvas" as your platform.
- Navigate to the Canvas Overview. Click the docs tab in your top blue navigation bar to reach the Documentation homepage, or go to: "developers.facebook.com/docs/". In the left panel you should see several options, including "Games" towards the top of the panel. Click on games, and third from the top you should see "Canvas". Here you can familiarize yourself with all the properties of Facebook Canvas.
- Create your new app. You can do so by selecting "My Apps" from your top, blue navigation bar, choosing "Add New App" from the drop-down menu, or you can simply input the following URL: developers.facebook.com/apps. Click "Create a New App" by clicking the green button to the right of the page.
- Facebook will check your app name to see if it's available before allowing you to continue.
- Prove your humanity. As part of Facebook's authentication and security, you will have to verify that you are the user you say you are and that you are human. You will likely have to provide some personal information, like your phone number or credit card information, and input Captcha text to prove you aren't a bot.
- Fill out your app content. Your app on Facebook, though now created, has no content. You will need to make use of either sample code, write code yourself, or have a third party develop your content. This is where your brainstorming comes in handy!
Adding Content to Your App
- Change your settings. You'll need to make a change to your account settings for you to be able to view the page. Unless you pay for app to be hosted securely, it will only be available to the people you indicate through your settings. Access account settings by clicking the rightmost drop-down tab in your blue navigation bar. In the panel to the left, you should see the "Security" heading, which you can click to access a new menu, the top of which will read "Secure Browsing." You will need to deactivate this feature and save changes.
- You will receive warning messages asking you to turn on secure browsing, but for developmental purposes, you will need to ignore these while working on your app.
- As long as you have secure browsing turned off, you will be able to view your app. Those who wish to see your app at this stage will also need to turn off secure browsing.
- Operate in sandbox mode while developing. This will limit the number of people who you wish to see your app, and is ideal for the developmental stage. These settings, along with other viewing allowances, can be found also be found on under your Account Settings under "Status and Review".
- Upload webpages to your online server. Your server will hold the information that Facebook will use to power your app, and this information takes the form coded webpages, likely in HTML or PHP file format. Create an appropriate directory for your new app and upload these files to it.
- Consider using pre-coded PHP files. Facebook makes pre-made code available to users to assist with your app integration and other problems. Typically, this code will contain entries where you will need to put in your app ID and secret ID code.
- Find your app ID and secret ID codes by checking your account settings page, where you can find these with your profile information.
- When looking through the code, you can find where to apply your identifying information by looking for the entries "appId" and "secret".
- Complete necessary code. Some code, like the Require function, which executes a script within a script, will need you to complete designated information.
These functions are largely user friendly, with explanations as to where the needed code can be found.
- If you cannot download a PHP file but have access to the complete code, you can cut and paste the code into a text editor (notepad++ is widely used), and save the file with the ending extension ".php".
- Host your app securely. Now that your app is created, developed, and filled with engaging content, you can purchase secure hosting, turn on secure browsing, and turn on secure browsing again. This will make your app available to general
Template:Video:Create a Facebook Application
Things You'll Need
- Facebook account
- Online server (or server access)
- Web pages (coded for your app)
- Advertise on Facebook
- Create a Facebook Profile
- Protect Your Private Information on Facebook
- Make Your Facebook Page Viral
Sources and Citations