Facebook has undoubtedly changed the world of social networking, and it has revolutionized the concept with the help of several applications and games that keep people logged on to the Facebook ecosystem for hours on end. This feature has enabled Facebook to improve their revenue thanks to the massive amount of time the advertisers have to target their consumers (their revenue is easily more than $2 billion) and it also helped them entice more users to join the network itself (Facebook has more than 700 million active users worldwide).
All this has presented developers and software engineers with a unique avenue to utilize their skills. Facebook users are by habit a social lot, and if there is a certain app or game that they like, they will ensure that their friends and family members try it out as well. This has given app developers a huge platform of people to work with, and the opportunity to raise popularity of the best Facebook apps in a viral manner that no other platform can provide.
Prerequisites to Submitting a Facebook Application
Creating Facebook apps is not a simple task, but it is certainly something that an experienced and well qualified app developer will be able to do with ease.
The very first thing that an app developer will need to do is learn PHP, which is a scripting language that is simple to use and allows users to create dynamic web pages that can do a lot. Other languages (like C#, Java or Python) can also be used for the purpose of developing Facebook apps, but PHP should be the main focus of an app developer. With the help of this script, core features of Facebook (like the social news feeds, the social plugins and the Graph API) can also be incorporated into the applications that are developed.
The next step in building Facebook applications involves the conceptualization of your application, and figuring out what it is going to do and how it is going to make use of core Facebook features. The name and the purpose of the app should be clear, and so should the target audience of the app. You also need to understand how you will integrate Facebook features, and whether the user will have to download the app on his computer, or interact with it on the web itself. The notifications, mini-feeds, news feeds and the blocking of spam will also need to be got to the bottom of by you.
You should also be aware that Facebook has a very secretive policy when it comes to reviewing and approving apps. Their approval processes are not released in the public domain, but they do verify a developer's identity before he is permitted to submit an application. This is done either through a cell phone verification process, or a credit card verification process. If you are unable to verify your developer account through these means, you will not be able to submit an application at any point in time. Moreover, certain apps turn out to be spam and also contain obscene content. If a lot of Facebook users report abuse against this app, then the app will be removed and the developer will be banned from submitting apps in the future.
Submitting Facebook Applications
It is mandatory for a person who is submitting a Facebook application to have a Facebook account. Once you log in to your Facebook account, you will then need to go to the Developers section on the website itself. Then you will need to click on Set Up a New Application, and then enter details about the app and agree to certain terms and conditions. After seeing your API Key and entering details about the app, you will be directed to the Canvas Page of Facebook. This is a page where you can enter the code of your application, decide on its URL and also download the client library for your app to access. Once this has been done, your app is ready to be used by your friends, and they can invite their friends to use it as well.
Here is a chronological sequence of events that you will need to follow after you have clicked on Set Up a New Application.
- In the box in front of Canvas Page URL you will be required to enter the name of the page where your app will exist.
- Now tick the box next to iframe.
- Tick the Yes box in front of Can your application be added to Facebook?, click the Resizable box in front of Default iframe Canvas Size Option and then upload your applications icon and logo as well.
- Enter the description of the app and then paste the link of the Canvas Page URL in the box that says Callback URL.
- Your app is now ready to be forwarded to all your friends.
Learning how to create and submit a Facebook application is as simple as this, and it is the writing of the script that is the hardest part. This is something that only experienced app developers will be able to achieve, and once this has been done, the instructions provided here will be useful. So without wasting any more time, you should get right down to developing your very own original application for the Facebook platform.