Posted by: seasideviews | 30/04/2010

Facebook fail the Twitter test

Facebook have failed the Twitter test.  They may well be the fastest growing/most successful/most used/out Googling Google web site but they really don’t ‘get it’ as far as I’m concerned.

I read that I can now post a ‘Like’ button on my web site – great idea!  I can even put in a Twitterfall-like list of recent comments by visitors – even better idea!  … and there are several other flavours of plugins – greatest idea yet!

But unlike Twitter, where I cut and paste some code to produce an animated display, unlike PayPal who manage to transfer money using a simple cut and paste, unlike Google Maps where I simply cut and paste to insert a map, Facebook requires me to do loads of techie stuff with Javascript (see below I’ve greyed it out to prove my point but I’m not daft enough to expect anyone to read it).

The JavaScript SDK enables you to access all of the features of the Graph API via JavaScript, and it provides a rich set of client-side functionality for authentication and sharing. For example usage, check out Facebook for Web Sites and the Authentication guide.

The most efficient way to load the SDK in your site is to load it asynchronously so it does not block loading other elements of your page:

<div id="fb-root"></div>
  window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
    FB.init({appId: 'your app id', status: true, cookie: true,
             xfbml: true});
  (function() {
    var e = document.createElement('script'); e.async = true;
    e.src = document.location.protocol +

The SDK is open source and is available on GitHub.

and while I’m having a whinge, wouldn’t it be great if Twitter fixed the problem with stopping a script when navigating away from a page?  Firefox manages not to loose its composure so I suppose it isn’t all bad, but Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser.

There is no such thing as a free lunch … at least not when I’m paying

OK OK OK, I hear you say: I’m not paying for these Web 2.0 gizmo things, sorry plugins.  Wrong, in truth we’re all paying as not even Twitter will be short of a £ $ € or two once they start selling substantial amounts of advertising based on their web traffic … and I’m helping them with their traffic.

So facebook, please get your act together and write something for us luddites.

Rant over, if you have been, thanks for reading.

P.S. “Github”?  They can’t be serious!


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