How to Find and Add Facebook Apps to Your Facebook Page

social media toolsAre you wondering how to add all those cool links below the avatar of your Facebook page? Those links appear when you install an application (or app) on your Facebook page.

If you want to spruce up your page, there’s an app for that.

For example, Facebook apps can automatically showcase your YouTube channel, but they can also do much more.

You may have seen the post Top 10 Facebook Apps for Building Custom Pages and Tabs, but let’s take a step back and talk about what apps are, where you find them and how you install them on your page.

Defining Applications

When you first start your Facebook page, there will be some basic Facebook apps in the left sidebar. These Facebook apps include Photos, Videos, Links, Events and Notes. Any other app you install will be a third-party app, which means that someone other than Facebook made it.

click edit page

Click Edit Page from your Facebook wall and then Apps to see your installed apps.

So how do you get more apps than just the basic ones provided by Facebook?

First you find them and then you install them. Even though that might sound simple, both of those steps are not very straightforward. Finding apps on Facebook can be particularly challenging because the Facebook search feature is notoriously bad. Then steps used to install the app can vary.

Some apps can be installed from within Facebook, others are easier to install by starting on the app website first.

Sometimes it’s even difficult to tell an Application page from a regular Facebook fan page.

An Application page will still have a Like button, a wall and sometimes its own apps installed.

There are a few key ways to determine that it is actually an application. The page may have a Go to App button right next to the App button. Underneath the name of the app at the top, you will see the App classification. And then on the left sidebar you will see the Add to My Page link as you see in the figure below.

fb app

Note the different ways to distinguish a Facebook app from a regular Facebook page.

An indication of how well the app is established is the monthly active users. In the figure above, you see NetworkedBlogs has 990,000 monthly active users, which can indicate that it is a useful and well-established app.

Facebook applications also include games such as CityVille and Mafia Wars and some of the other apps you may have seen such as Give a Hug or the Birthday Calendar.

Since applications are developed by third parties, not all of them work very well and not all of them are reputable. You may have had an issue on Facebook where you click on some post and all of a sudden you start posting strange things on other people’s walls without your permission, maybe telling them to “check out a new diet” or “see who is viewing your profile.”

bad apps

If your Facebook profile starts posting strange things, you probably have clicked on a bad application.

Finding Facebook Apps

If you know the name of the application you are looking for, finding the app can be easier. You can use the Facebook search bar or go to www.facebook.com/search. Using the search tool is better because you can filter by People, Pages, Groups, Apps and more as shown in the figure below.

apps search filter

Filter by Apps in the left sidebar to search for apps only.

You can also find a Facebook app by taking a look at how something is posted within your news feed. Some apps will post into the news feed and you can find out more about the app by looking at the link underneath the post as shown by the HootSuite link in the following figure. If you click on the HootSuite link, you will be taken to the HootSuite app.

apps on post

Apps can be found by looking at the way they are posted.

If it’s an app that only resides on a page, you can sometimes find out what the app is by looking at the bottom of the page. Many apps have either a link to their external website or a direct link to the app within Facebook as shown in the next figure. Not all apps have this feature and some are custom apps created for a specific page only.

apps at bottom

Check at the bottom of the app on the Facebook page to find out how the custom tab was created. Not all apps have this attribution.

Another tool you can use to find Facebook apps is www.Appbistro.com. They don’t have every app listed but they do list a good cross-section of business apps.

Installing Facebook Apps

Once you have found a Facebook app, installing it can be challenging. Some apps install easier from their external website, and some are very easy to install from within Facebook. Many apps’ external websites will tell you exactly how to install it and make the installation process quite easy.

go to app

Once you click Go to App, you will need to give the app permission to access your information.

If you are installing the app from the Facebook App page, the steps will often be different if you click on the Add to My Page link on the left sidebar versus clicking on the blue Go to App button at the top of the page as shown in the NetworkedBlogs figure earlier. Usually you will eventually end up in the same place, but that Facebook “feature” makes writing directions on Facebook apps a challenge.

I usually prefer to click the Add to My Page link on the left sidebar. When you do, you will see a pop-up box where you can select the page where you want the app added.

add to my page

First click the Add to My Page link on the left sidebar, and then click the Add to Page button to add the app to your page.

Now you will navigate to the page where you added the app and find the app listed on your left sidebar.

configure app

Find the app on your left sidebar after you have installed it.

After you click on the app, there may or may not be added steps to configure the app. Follow the steps as listed and you are all set with your fancy new app to dress up your page!

If you would like to move the app position on your left sidebar, click on the Edit link under your complete list of apps on your left sidebar and then you will be able to drag the app to the position you want. When you have the list organized the way you want, click Done and the new position will be saved.

edit app position

Edit the position of the app with the Edit link.

So now you have the big picture on what Facebook apps are and how to find and install them.

What about you? What are your favorite Facebook apps? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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  • beattitudes66

    Great Article  for some of us “newer-bies”  can’t wait for the follow up  “10 Must-Have Facebook Apps” :-) 

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hi Beattitudes66,

    How about 75? See http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-apps/

  • beattitudes66

    75 is a nice round figure – THANKS for the link its appreciated. 

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Thanks for the reminder Andrea.  I don’t think I’ve look into new Facebook apps in … um, a least a year.  Time to get back with it. :) 

  • aflyonthewall

    I am desperate for an events calendar that I can add to our FB Business Page!  The current versions no longer work since the last FB changes!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks beattitude66 – I will also have a Top 10 Apps coming soon – just to add to the 75 Mari mentioned :)

  • René Power

    Great and timely post as I’m preparing to create a Facebook page for my site the Marketing Assassin. Thanks!

  • http://www.fanwalla.com Leon Lewis

    Thanks for the article, app discovery on Facebook is still a joke. Why did FB remove their app marketplace thing? It hurts developers when users can’t explore and play with their apps. Sigh….

  • Shoshana Yossef

    Such a timely article. I’m looking for ‘suscribe to newsletter’ and ‘donate via paypal’ apps. Can anyone help?

  • http://www.mikegingerich.com/ Mike Gingerich

    Yes, the Facebook search is just not up to par.  The guys over at AppBistro have a great assortment of apps for all types of things you can think of! http://www.appbistro.com

  • Sheilakfox

    I do like this article but the one thing that should be mentioned is that Facbook will stop supporting an App for any reason they chose, and it will no longer work on your Page. Has anybody looked at their LinkedIn tab lately?

  • http://www.tomorrowsoptical.info Bob Main

    I like Tabsite.com as an external app. It has a lot of functionality and can be easily customized.

  • Wendy Cohen

    Thanks for the article, I look forward to your top 10 list! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • http://twitter.com/troyrumfelt Troy Rumfelt

    Bob thanks for the mention above.  We at TabSite.com might be a bit bias however, we feel we have a rock solid App. that allows you to add multiple Apps to your Fan Page. You can easily add content to your tab with our suite of widgets and easy to use Drag N Build system.  Including features like layering, page stats, you can even add your own custom icon.

    Troy Rumfelt
    CEO TabSite.com

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I’ve been struggling to find a good calendar app too.  Unfortunately I don’t have a recommendation – maybe we should build one!

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I agree Leon!  While the app marketplace wasn’t perfect, at least it was a place to search.  I don’t the the Facebook/search feature works that well.  Appbistro can help but they don’t list every app.

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    I would use the Cause app for donations.  If you have Mailchimp or Constant Contant, they have apps that you can easily use.  Otherwise you can create your own.  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/top-10-facebook-apps-for-building-custom-pages-tabs/

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    It is a problem that you are playing in someone else’s sandbox.  The other issue is that the App developers themselves stop updating the app.  I believe that’s what happened with the LinkedIn App.  Which is a bummer because lots of people would like to have a good LinkedIn app.

  • Asmoore

    I cannot seem to get my Linked In to link to FB through the app. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

  • Dorien Morin-van Dam

    I recently taught a Hands-On social media workshop in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was geared towards business owners and covered intermediate Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn information. – The beginner class had covered basic set-up and basic social media know-how –  This time we also talked about Google analytics, places and adwords.  During the Question & Answer session this exact question came up and thanks to the power of a projector and net-book, I was able to demonstrate a ‘search and apply’ session on Facebook Apps.  I had to do it from ‘scratch’ and do a quick memory search.  This post would have been helpful to have, thus I think I will add a link to this post to my next workshop PowerPoint.  Thanks!

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  • http://twitter.com/1MarchHare marie leverett

    Just checked out Appbistro and found an app I’ve been looking for for ages! Thanks for tip. ;-)

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    I have to say that I use the method of checking my stream to see what apps made the post. This also happens to be how I find new Twitter clients on twitter a lot.

    As for the app marketplace, it is a shame. In fact all app marketplace (iPhone, android, etc..) all seem to be a bit clunky and difficult. There has to be a better way. It is almost as if there needs to be an ebook on app search terms like we use for keywords in google search.

    Happy thanksgiving everyone!
    Keith
    http://www.SimpleMediaMarketing.com

  • Brandon

    Andrea & Aflyonthewall, we will be glad to build one.  We actually have one in development.  Send me the details of what you want it to do and we’ll get on it.    

    We have an app platform http://bit.ly/sCFl5S that puts websites or microsites in Facebook Pages.  No development needed and they include lead capture forms, auto-responders, blog & Twitter feeds, etc.  We have a YouTube channel app and more.  We even put them in app suites for specific industry’s so its like loading website template designed for your industry into the Page and we have in-Facebook tools to customize and personalize.  Would love to Share more if you’re interested.  But, first, let’s get your calendar app created.  Let me know what you want and we’ll make it happen!  

  • Rtitleman

    We use http://www.socialstage.com to build small microsites, load multiple app and run contests. It’s packaged with themes and Like overlays, so you don’t need to design it. 

  • Jennye

    Troy, I have jus tried to sign up to tab site using my personal FB account for which I am admin of my work page – the tabite site is for my work page but it couldn’t recognise it, asked me to verify I am admin and that I have liked the page which I have.  Any ideas?  Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/troyrumfelt Troy Rumfelt

    Jennye,

    We would be glad to take a look at that. Please go to http://www.tabsite.com and click support. This will allow us to gather more information and help you further.  Please make sure you are using Facebook as your personal profile and not logged in as your Fan Page. We have see this issue in the past.

  • http://www.brandonlee.me/ Brandon Lee

    Thank you Rtitleman!  I appreciate it.  

    Brandon Lee
    CEO, Social Stage

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Facebook is one of the best social networking sites to improve business and communication with different people. I hope this post would be more helpful in adding Facebook Applications to our Facebook pages and utilizing the Facebook. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • http://twitter.com/annmoses92 Ann Moses

    This is information for those who want to be creative with your fb pages. Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://twitter.com/BarbGobbi Barbara Gobbi

    How come every time I try to add an app to my business fan page, it makes me switch to my personal page? How do I get the apps on the fan page?

  • Jennye

    I had the same problem, you have to switch to your personal page but then the app applies to your fan page.

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  • https://github.com/mfpiccolo Mike Piccolo

    I got Facebook to integrate with my blog fairly well but I couldn’t get twitter login to work at all.  My blog is on WordPress and the plugin I tried was Simple Twitter Connect.  Anyone have any luck with that?

  • http://www.brandonlee.me/ Brandon Lee

    Mike, we have a blog app that should work well for you.  http://www.SocialStage.com if you are interested.  And, all of our apps work together to create a website experience in the FB Page with a top-level menu navigation.  I hope that helps. 

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  • bbh

    Okay – totally new to this – I want to add customized tabs on the left panel under the Wall – suggestions anyone (without too much newbie mocking)?

  • http://essaysmonster.com/ essays

    Thanks
    a lot for sharing. You have done a brilliant job. 

  • http://twitter.com/pauboop Pau Osuna

    Hi there! excellent article, I do have one more question: Is there any page for the most popular apps or the newest inside facebook like for ex. chrome web store ?. Greetings!

  • http://www.multiculturalmatters.org/ Elias Kamal Jabbe

    Thanks for these tips Andrea! It’s amazing to see how Facebook has evolved in the last few years.

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  • http://blogsnewsreviews.com/ Astro Gremlin

    Andrea, always appreciate articles that help clue in the newbie.  To me it’s strange that a platform like Facebook should require how-to articles on what should be simple functions.  I would like to make more of my fan page but every time I look at setting up a landing page, my head starts to hurt. 
    By the time I get things set up, Facebook in its corporate wisdom will probably reorganize my “look” for me anyway.  We do all love the Timeline we now have to use, though.  Right?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545058390 Mathias Valentin Nissen

    Use this form to add your app to a Facebook fan page.
    http://addtopage.muffinsdeluxe.com/
    It generates the correct “add to page” URL.

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  • http://twitter.com/dawitti Martin Wittmann

    as facebook introduced the new timeline for pages this works slighlty
    different now.
    i created a little tool that makes this process a lot easier. all you need is your app’s id. paste it here:
    http://martinwittmann.at/content/how-add-facebook-apps-page-tabs
    this will open a dialog where you can add your app to an existing page.

    the other way of doing itinvolves creating a fan page for you app (no matter whether you need it) and on the created page you can add the app. so using that tool above makes my life (and hopefully yours) a lot easier :)
    martin

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  • Qckaren

    Has anyone seen a “View my Website” app for your Page?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002866449196 Khushal Chauhan

    Thanx.

  • Patrick Mahan

    I’m trying to install an app on my employer’s Facebook Page. To install it, I have to switch back to my personal profile. Will that app always be installed on my personal profile? If for some reason in the future I was no longer an administrator of this company Page, what happens to the app? Can I safely remove it from my personal profile without negatively affecting the company’s page?

  • Reanne

    Is there an app for pages that gathers fans birthdays?

  • Zeke Krahlin

    I tried to add the app “forum for pages”, so I clicked on the “Go To App” button, and all I got was a failure notice: “You must have permission to add apps to at least one Facebook Page to perform the requested action.” There doesn’t seem to be any other way to add this app. I haven’t a clue how to get this “permission,” even though I was logged into my Facebook account.









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