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  • You Can't Import RSS Feeds into Static FBML Tabs – but you can add RSS Tabs

    RSS Feeds I’ve been asked a number of times if it’s possible to import RSS feeds — Twitter, Blogs, etc. — into a Static FBML tab. Well, the answer is “No”! You need to use a scripting language — PHP, ASP — to parse an RSS feed, and Static FBML boxes cannot parse any scripting languages, period.

    Given this unfortunate (but understandable) fact, how can you add blog feeds, Twitter feeds or other feeds to your fan page? There are basically 3 choices:

    1. Third-Party Applications, such as Involver or Social RSS;
    2. Facebook’s “Notes” application;
    3. Custom canvas page application.

    How to add RSS feeds to your Fan Page

    Third-Party Facebook App Providers
    There are a number of third-party Facebook applications that allow you to add an RSS-feed tab to your page.

    InvolverInvolver
    You can add up to 2 Involver apps to your fan page for free. They offer an RSS feed app and a Twitter feed app.

    • Go to the Involver website and click the blue Facebook “Install” button under “Free Applications”;
    • On the next screen, select the Facebook page on which you’d like to install the app;
    • After selecting the page to which you want to install the app, click “Add RSS for pages” button;
    • Enter the blog feed URL in the next screen.
    • To have a Twitter feed, add the Involver app called “Twitter”, also under “Free Applications” and follow the same drill as above. Instead of a feed URL, you’ll just have to enter a Twitter username;
    • You’ll then see detailed instructions for adding the tab.

    Social RSSSocial RSS

    You can configure this app to automatically pull in updates from any RSS or ATOM feed and display them as posts on your Fan Page, either on a dedicated tab, a wall tab (on the left side) or as part of your core news feed.

    • Go to the Social RSS page and click “Add to my page” link under the avatar in upper-left of page;
    • In the popup window, select the page to which you want to add the application, the click “OK”;
    • Go to the page to which you added the app, and click “Edit page” under the avatar;
    • Scroll down to the Social RSS app, and click “Edit”;
    • In the Social RSS screen, you can enter one or more feeds, and set additional parameters. If you have multiple feeds, they will be available via a pulldown menu on the “RSS/Blog” tab (the default name which can’t be changed);
    • When you’re done, click “Update”.

    Import your blog using the “Notes” application:
    You can also use the Notes application which is present by default.

    • Click on “Edit Page” (under your Facebook avatar);
    • Scroll down to the Notes application, and click “Application Settings”;
    • Next to “Tab:” it should say “Remove”; if it says “Add” then click “Add”, then “OK”;
    • Click back to your page (you can click your avatar at the top of the Edit page);
    • Click on Notes, which will either be in your top tabs or under the “>>”;
    • Click Write a new Note;
    • At the top right, click Notes Toolbar;
    • Click “Import a blog” on the next screen:
      Import a Blog into Notes
    • Follow the instructions, viola!.

    Create, or have someone create for you, a Facebook canvas application:
    Because the code for canvas apps is not hosted on Facebook servers, there is not the restriction around scripting languages that exists for Static FBML.

    You will need to install an PHP RSS parser on the server where you host your canvas application. A Google search on “RSS parser PHP” will provide plenty of options.

    And here’s a very helpful tutorial on creating Facebook canvas applications for beginners.

    There are a couple drawbacks to using the third-party RSS Feed applications, mostly around branding or ads, as well as limited customization and naming the tabs. And the Notes application only allows the importing of one blog feed.

    A custom canvas application is the best solution, but it’s also the most costly. And it’s best to have this done by a professional developer.

    If anyone can add to the above information, please do so in the comments. Cheers!

    Comments

    1. this is my page
      facebook.com/pappuz
      i think involver allow only 1 rss feed for free
      i added that to my tab but i can’t add that tab to my wall on left side coz this news(rss feed) is not available in box tab.
      i tried alot but can’t add.can u help me out.?

    2. I’m curious how involver and other apps can add applications as tabs to fan pages. I have been searching for hours over a few days and have not found a way to do it. NOT static FBML but an actual app. For example, I have a sample app I built that runs fine, but when I go to add a tab, no applications appear in the “search available tabs” but I went to involver’s app and it was able to add an app to my page. ARG!

      Any idea how to get an app to be a tab, I set it up with a tab name, etc. Not sure what I am missing. I have written about 8 apps and nothing still comes up in my Search Available Tabs for any of my fan pages.

      Frustrtated….

      • When you’re editing your application’s settings, click “Profiles” on the left, then under “Profile Tab” enter “index.php” in the “Tab URL” field. Even though you might feel you don’t need that, I’ve found that it’s essential to include it. Let me know if this helped.

    3. I need to customise an rss page in facebook, like these chaps have done…

      http://www.facebook.com/socialnatives?v=app_109165315791487

      I really want to display RSS information in my own format, can anyone suggest how to do this?

      • Well, those chaps ought to wake up to the reality of 520px tabs. One third of their tab content is gone. I smiled when I saw the banner “Get a Facebook page like this!” Um, no thanks.

        Anyway, in order to pull RSS feeds into your Fan Page, you either have to create a canvas application or get a third-party app from Involver or other app provider. I would recommend you check out ShortStack Lab. They’ve got some cool products.

    Trackbacks

    1. [...] I can’t add RSS feeds to my Static FBML tab using the usual JavaScript or PHP methods. In order to import an RSS feed you need to use a scripting language — eg PHP, ASP — and Static FBML boxes cannot parse any scripting languages, period. There are a number of third-party applications for adding RSS feeds, and you can also create a canvas application. Read more in my post on RSS feeds and Static FBML » [...]