UPDATED March 14, 2012: Facebook announced on the Developer Blog that they’re now including an “Add App to Page” option under the “gear” menu on App Page for the App (which you now set up via the Advanced Settings for your App).
UPDATED January 9, 2012: I’ve added a detailed step-by-step tutorial on migrating your App Profile Page to a Facebook Page.
UPDATED Dec 14, 2011: I added a (heavily edited) discussion thread from the Developer Blog post that addresses the transferring of a Vanity URL to an existing Fan Page, and user questions around this. See below….
On Friday, Dec 9, 2011, Facebook announced that as of February 1, 2012 they are removing App Profile Pages, to be replaced by a much easier method of adding apps to pages.
Today, we are announcing that we will remove all App Profile Pages on February 1st, 2012. Though similar in appearance, the automatically generated App Profile Pages differ in features from traditional Facebook Pages, and over time the inconsistencies between the two, such as different Insights, APIs, and distribution channels, have become more apparent.
What takes the place of an existing App Profile Page?
You’ll need to migrate your App Profile Page to “an existing Facebook Page with the same name and of Product/App category.”
If you are an admin of an eligible Facebook Page (must be of the Product/App category and match the app name), you will be prompted with the ability to transfer Likes to this Page. Transferring Likes will give you the ability to publish updates to these users from your new Facebook Page as you do today.
Please note that we will only transfer Likes, and not the content of these Pages. Before you go through the migration process, please ensure you have downloaded all photos, posts, Insights, and any other material that you want to keep. Once you hit the migrate button, the App Profile Page will be deleted.
How does this work for new Facebook Apps?
When you are setting up your new App, you will no longer automatically get an App Profile Page. Instead, you’ll have the option of setting up the App Page in the “Settings > Advanced > Contact Info” area of your Dev App.
However, you don’t have to set up a special Page for your App.
Benefit: Now you can place a “Add App to My Page” dialog on any Web page or Page Tab
Instead of setting up a special App Profile Page, you can now embed an “Add App to My Page” (or whatever dialog you want) on your Facebook Page tabs or — better still — on your website.
Tab or Web page visitors can then add your App to their Fan Pages right from your Tab or Web page!
In this example, I used this code:
<a href="#" onclick=window.open("http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=176217385757369&next=http://tabpressapp.phpfogapp.com/content/pages/","PageTab","width=800,height=500");>Add TabPress to Your Fan Page!</a>
to allow users to add our TabPress iFrame Page Tab App to your Fan Page from this article: Add TabPress to Your Fan Page!
What value do I use for the “next” URL parameter?
For the “next” parameter URL — which is where the user will be redirected after adding your App to a page — must be:
- The “Page Tab URL” or “Canvas URL” for your App, as specified in your App settings;
http://www.facebook.com/(ONLY the home page! Fan Page URLs or Page Tab URLs WON’T work!)
Any other value will most likely result in the dreaded “Error 191″:
However, if you use one of the above URLs, you should have success.
If you just need to add your App to one Page
If your App is a Page Tab you only need to add to your Facebook Page, and not an App that you want to make available to multiple pages, you can simply navigate to this URL in your browser:
Replace “YOUR_APP_ID” with your App ID and “YOUR_URL” with your App’s Canvas URL, both of which values are available in your app settings.
You’ll see a page similar to this the one below when you navigate to that URL:
Simply select the Page to which you want to add the App, click “Add Page Tab” and it’s done!
Why doesn’t Facebook also provide an “Add to my Page” link in the Dev App area?
This is puzzling. Facebook has created a great feature — the ability to place an “Add to my Page” link on websites and Page tabs, and a way to create a URL that allows the creation of an Add to my Page right from the email!
But they should still provide a link, say in the Dev App area (where you create and edit your app), as well as add this feature. I am guessing they will do that.
A Discussion with Facebook’s Cat Lee about Migrating the App Profile Page to an Existing Fan Page and Transferring Likes
I decided to simply transcribe, and edit, this discussion thread on the Facebook Developer Blog. The commenters asked a number of great questions and Facebook’s Cat Lee did her best to answer them….
Mase Sameh: What if the Vanity URL of my app profile is the one that I want to use but the Fan Page I”ll be migrating to is already have a Vanity URL?
For example: My app profile is “facebook.com/MafiaWars” but my Fan Page that I’ll be migrating to is “facebook.com/MafiaWarsFans” and of course I’ll want to use “facebook.com/MafiaWars” as my official app page+profile?
Cat Lee: You will need to first lose the Vanity URL for the Fan Page to migrate the Vanity URL from the app to the Fan Page automatically.
Mase Sameh: Cat Lee Thanks for your reply. How can I “lose” the current vanity URL for the Fan Page?
Cat Lee: I’m sorry, I misspoke. Looking at this Facebook Help Center Q&A, it doesn’t seem possible to change/get rid of a username on an existing Page.
If you really want to keep the username of the App Profile Page, the only thing you can do is to create a new Facebook Page of category Product -> App without a Vanity URL and migrate the Likes there.
Mase Sameh: Wow! So I have to lose more than 27,600 likes my app Fan Page got over the last year because I can’t use the username I already got for my App Profile Page. So Zynga will also lose its Apps vanity URLs such as: “facebook.com/MafiaWars”, “MafiaWars2″, “FarmVille”, etc… just like the rest of us?
Please Cat, try to figure out a solution for this or let us decide which vanity URL we would like to use (the App Profile Page URL or the Fan Page).
Cat Lee: You don’t necessarily have to lose the Likes. We will transfer the likes, just without the Vanity URL.
Mase Sameh: I guess you’re missing my point. Let’s say my page is “facebook.com/AppFans” on which I have about 27,600 likes, because it’s the one I used on my website and every other place to gather the fans.
But the App Profile Page is “facebook.com/App” which got about 6,000 likes but it also has the best vanity URL for my app which is the app name itself.
I want to migrate to the Page with 27,600 likes but will use the vanity URL of the App Profile Page (“AppName”). Again, it’s the same as Zynga did with its first games like “MafiaWarsFans” but the App Profile Page is “MafiaWars” so will Zynga lose the vanity URL “MafiaWars” or will it lose all the fans on “MafiaWarsFan”s just to use the App vanity URL “MafiaWars”?
Phoxer Roberto Baglieri: Cat Lee But we will lose the “username (vanity URL)” of the apps.. like @Mase Sameh says???.
Israel González Fernández:
Cat Lee Couldn’t agree more with Mase…let us at least decide which of our vanity URLs (the app’s or the page’s) we’d like to keep!
Cat Lee: Why not create a new Page for the app itself and transfer the vanity URL along with the Likes? This seems no different than maintaining the App Profile Page along with the Facebook Page that you already have.
Mase Sameh: Cat Lee – Because this is a golden opportunity for all developers to unite both their Fan Page and App Profile Page under one page. Unfortunately, most of developers including Zynga choose to use the app name for the App Profile Page and not the Fan Page.
Cat, I think it will be very easy to give developers the possibility to choose between one of the two vanity URLs. Regarding you suggestion, if you suggest that we have two pages if we want to keep our app vanity URL why is facebook removing profile pages in the first place?
Israel González Fernández: Cat Lee, Are you suggesting we create a third Facebook page just to transfer the App Profile Page’s vanity URL? The whole problem comes when developers already have both an App Profile Page and a Fan Page for the app fans. If we transfer App Profile Page stuff to the Fan Page we lose our preferred vanity URL (the app’s). And if we create a different page, then we can transfer the vanity URL from the app’s one but then we would lose all the fans we already have in the Fan Page!
Where is the “Transfer Likes” Feature?
Phoxer Roberto Baglieri: Cat, I have made a new app (page) with the same name of my app. but I can’t see the button to transfer “likes” to the new app page.. how to do that?
Cat Lee: This feature is slowly rolling out to all developers. If you don’t see the banner, it’s probably because it hasn’t rolled out to you yet. You’ll be seeing it in the coming weeks.
Join the Discussion!
I’m sure there will be lots of questions around this as it’s rolled out. I’ll update this article as the situation develops. And feel free to post questions or comments here.