Recently I’ve been studying FBML (Facebook Markup Language) to spice up my Facebook fan page.
One thing that I’ve discovered is that the Facebook Developer’s Wiki, while full of useful information, is even more difficult to understand than the WordPress Codex. Either it’s for people way smarter than me or the developers don’t want us common folk to understand what the heck they are doing ;-) The examples, however, for each tag are very helpful.
Another good place to get information or assistance about FBML is on the Static FBML Discussion page. There are a lot of people answering questions, providing links to tutorials and demonstrating working snippets of code.
So, what I wanted to learn was how to add a flash video, such as a youtube video, to a custom Facebook fan page tab using FBML rather than a Facebook YouTube Application. This code can be used on it’s own video tab or even within an existing tab such as Welcome, About, etc.
- First, you will need to add the Static FBML application and create a custom tab, if you haven’t already done so.
- Locate your flash video. This would be the link on YouTube or it’s location on your server. The URL to my video that I’m using in this example is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_CjzJqoYtc
- You also need an image. It can be one of the frames on youtube or an image you have on your server. 2.jpg seems to be the default image frame used in the YouTube examples.
- The FBML code you can start with looks like the following:
<fb:swf swfbgcolor="000000" imgstyle="border-width:3px; border-color:white;" swfsrc='http://www.youtube.com/v/xxxxxxxxxx' imgsrc='http://img.youtube.com/vi/xxxxxxxxxx/2.jpg' width='340' height='270' />
- The parts of this code that have to be changed are:
- The xxxxxxxxxx part is the ID number of the youtube video that you are using. You replace this in both parts. The ID is the part of the URL after v= so in my example it would be J_CjzJqoYtc
- Other parts of the code can be changed but aren’t necessary for the video to work properly.
- swfbgcolor=”000000″ – this is the background color. 000000 is black.
- imgstyle=”border-width:3px; border-color:white; – this sets the width and color of the border around the video
- width=’340′ height=’270′ – the size of the video. Remember that when Facebook finishes making their changes to Tabs and Boxes the area to work with will only be 510px wide.
- The final code that I used looks like the following:
<fb:swf swfbgcolor="000000" imgstyle="border-width:3px; border-color:white;" swfsrc='http://www.youtube.com/v/J_CjzJqoYtc' imgsrc='http://img.youtube.com/vi/J_CjzJqoYtc/2.jpg' width='480' height='385' /> Click the image to start the video
- Please note that I added ‘Click the image to start the video’ below the code for the video. Facebook does not allow autoplay of these videos. It displays the image designated in our code. Clicking on that image will render the flash object and then the video can be started. Please don’t ask how to make the video autoplay – it can’t be done.
I hope this was helpful. I’m still digging through the FBML documentation so I should have more articles for you soon.
photo credit: Velo Steve