O'Reilly logo

Facebook: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Facebook Applications: An Overview

Facebook applications are small programs that work inside Facebook. They're similar to Web browser plug-ins (like video players) in that they let you do a little something extra—something you couldn't do before you installed them. They're easy to install and appear on your Facebook Applications menu.

If you've had a chance to put Facebook through its paces, you're probably already familiar with the site's built-in applications, which include Groups, Events, Photos, and Marketplace. But people who aren't on the Facebook design team—folks known as "third-party developers"—have written about a bazillion others, such as iLike (which lets you add music clips to your profile) and Weekly Schedule (which lets you coordinate a graphic version of your schedule with your co-workers' or friends').

Nearly all the initial third-party Facebook applications are humorous time-wasters, like the ones that let you spray-paint graffiti on someone's wall or hurl virtual sheep at your friends in lieu of a sedate poke (Poking). But you can expect to see more serious-minded, business-friendly applications now that Facebook's enormous (and growing) membership is attracting high-dollar advertisers. Professional Profile, for example, lets you post and edit your resumé on Facebook, then track who views it. Chat-Instant Messaging lets you add an instant-messaging box to your profile so you can communicate with co-workers without ever leaving Facebook.

Facebook applications are ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required