How to Install a Facebook App - dummies

By Jamie Crager, Scott Ayres, Melanie Nelson, Daniel Herndon, Jesse Stay

Once you have created an app for your Facebook page, you need to install it to give visitors access to it. Getting the app to work on Facebook is fairly simple, after you know where to start:

  1. Start your web browser and log in to Facebook.

  2. Go to Facebook’s app builder.

    This takes you to the developers greeting page. From here, you can branch off to pages for building websites, building mobile websites, or building Facebook apps.

  3. Click the Apps link in the upper-right corner of the menu bar, and then click the Create New App button.

    This displays the Create New App dialog box. From here, you can name your new app and give it an app namespace. The app namespace is the directory where Facebook saves data about your app. The namespace needs to be different from other namespace names on Facebook. This one is named mymindread, so you can’t use that name.

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  4. Type a name for your app in the App Name text box.

    You can name the app whatever you want. Facebook saves apps with unique ID numbers that are generated when you save this dialog box.

  5. Type the App Namespace until you get one that works.

    This field requires seven letters. The namespace can’t be the same as any other namespace on Facebook. Also, the namespace can’t have any spaces, uppercase, or nonalphabetic characters. After you type the namespace, a message beside the App Namespace text box displays either a green Available message or a red Failed, depending on whether you type a namespace already in use.

    Just keep trying until you get an Available message. (Or you can change it later in the process.) The category is optional.

  6. Click Continue.

    You see a security CAPTCHA.

  7. Type the security code and then click Continue.

    The Basic Settings page appears. The following describes each option on the page. You can leave most of these options as is, unless you want to customize your app further:

    • Display Name: The name of your app.

    • Namespace: The app’s namespace.

    • Contact Email: The e-mail address for the app to send data to.

    • App Domain: The domain name on the server where you saved your app earlier — just the domain name — such as yourdomain.com.

    • Sandbox Mode: Determines whether only app developers (selected) or everyone (deselected) can use the app.

  8. Select Add Platform.

    You are selecting the platform with which your app will be integrated. A dialog box appears.

  9. Choose App on Facebook as the type of app you want to create.

  10. Scroll to the lower half of the page, and fill out the necessary fields.

    This is where you set up your app’s integration with your external app located on the other server:

    • Site URL: This is the base domain and path from which all calls to your web server will load. Including this URL ensures that Facebook always knows that your servers are making the call. Type the entire URL path of the app you just created on your web server here, including the page name.

    • Canvas URL: The nonsecure location of the external app. This is the full URL that will be loaded when your canvas app on Facebook.com loads.

    • Secure Canvas URL: The secure location of the Canvas URL (it should begin with https://). You’ll probably want to include SSL on your web server so that you can load your app securely inside Facebook. Facebook runs in SSL mode by default, and you’ll get errors if you try to load a nonsecure app.

    • Canvas Page: The Facebook URL for your app. Facebook generates it according to the data you entered in previous fields. This is how users get to your app.

    • Mobile web URL: If you developed a separate version of the app for mobile devices, put that URL here, or use the same Site URL, if the app will run on mobile devices as is.

    Note that Facebook filled in the Canvas Page URL text box, based on the information you typed in the other text boxes. This is the URL to the app itself in Facebook. You could place that URL in the address bar of your browser while logged in to Facebook and go straight to your new app, as could anyone else logged in to Facebook.

    Posting the canvas page URL on your timeline, in messages, and on other web pages is one way to provide access to users.

  11. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

Facebook checks the data you entered as it saves the app info. If any entries are not in the correct format, you’re prompted to change them.

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That’s it! Although many apps require additional setup, the simple Mind Reader app does not. It doesn’t require any permissions or other settings.

You can make your app available to users in many ways. In addition to the method described in Step 8, you can also create a link on your business page.

After Facebook has successfully saved the data, the app ID is displayed at the top of the page. The app ID is critical to several aspects of promoting your app. The app ID can be used also in your app scripts, inside the app itself.