Facebook Tab Manager 3.03 – Simplifying “Add to Page,” Adding Custom Capabilities

With the release of Facebook Tab Manager 3.0, I introduced a more flexible scheme for assigning user editing capabilities. A couple of bug fixes later, we’re now at 3.03, which also puts the the Add to Page link (for adding your tabs to one or more page) to the overview screen that shows all the tabs available for posting. If you haven’t recorded the required App ID # Facebook assigns, you will instead see a link back to the editor, prompting you to enter that information.

Add to Page / Sett App ID links

I’m doing my best to make this as convenient as possible.

Setting Editing Capabilities

Previously, I made the assumption that Facebook tab content (fbtabs) should be treated like pages, rather than posts, meaning that you had to be an editor or administrator to create or edit them. At least one user contacted me to say he also wanted authors to have access. So now there is a checkbox on the Settings screen asking if you want authors and contributors to have the same sort of rights to create and edit fbtabs as they would for posts.

It’s also possible for website owners to assign their own custom capabilities / permissions schemes, either using custom PHP code or a plugin such as Members or Role Scoper. For example, you could expand the fbtab editing capabilities of an author (one of the standard WordPress roles), or create a custom role such as “Facebook Tab Editor” with the capabilities you assign. For example, someone with this role might have full rights to edit fbtab content but not have access to the editor for pages.

The relevant roles are:

  • delete_fbtabs
  • edit_fbtabs
  • edit_published_fbtabs
  • publish_fbtabs
  • delete_others_fbtabs
  • edit_others_fbtabs
  • edit_private_fbtabs
  • read_private_fbtabs

Other capabilities might have to be set for a custom role — for example, the “upload_files” capability applies across pages, posts, custom post types, and the media tab on the site administration screens. The WordPress.org site offers more details on the Roles and Capabilities scheme. Took me a while to wrap my head around it, I confess.

  • http://twitter.com/dragonflyeye DragonFlyEye.Net

    Facebook is switching to Timeline for Pages. Do you have a plan of attack for dealing with this? Do we have any idea how this will affect TabMgr?

    • http://www.carrcommunications.com David F. Carr

      I haven’t seen that Facebook has even said that they are definitely going to do that, let alone how or when Timeline would fit in with the pages format. I searched their blog and some other resources and didn’t see anything, but let me know if you can provide a reference.

      I think there’s a big enough developer ecosystem built up around custom tabs that they will try to preserve that option, even in a new format. However, changes in the platform are possible at any time, and I’ve already encountered several that have been difficult to stay ahead of.

      • http://www.carrcommunications.com David F. Carr

        AllFacebook has an article on the speculation, noting that FB has made a commitment to giving 90-days notice of changes that would break applications.

        http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-timeline-pages-2-2012-02

      • http://twitter.com/dragonflyeye DragonFlyEye.Net

        More information, via Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-timeline-brand-pages/

        • http://www.carrcommunications.com David F. Carr

          I will have an update later today with screen shots and will also be writing about this at my day job here http://www.informationweek.com/thebrainyard

          First impression is that this is not a change that will “break” tabs, in the sense of not making them display properly anymore, so in that sense Facebook is keeping to its commitment on the notice it gives for API changes. On the other hand, 30-days notice before the change becomes mandatory is not a lot of warning for designers, and the design change is pretty significant.

          * You can no longer set a default landing tab
          * I believe tabs will still be able to show different content to people who have liked the page. Need to test this.
          * Tabs are less prominent in the new UI and will have to be promoted differently.
          * Tabs will be displayed more like Facebook apps, with a greater page width. This is one of the main things I will have to address, figuring out how to allow users to adjust the default width of their tabs.