What Is a Facebook Badge Used For?
By David Nield
Facebook Badges are small, dynamically updating widgets that can be used in many different ways -- for example, to link to your Facebook profile from a blog, to show off recent Facebook photos on your personal website, or to promote a Facebook page.
Types of Badges
Facebook offers four main types of badge: profile badges (showing key information from your timeline, such as your most recent status update), Like badges (showing content you've liked on Facebook), photo badges (showing recent images from Facebook) and Page badges (for promoting a particular page). Each badge can be customized to some extent but follows the same basic framework.
How Badges Work
Once a badge has been created, a snippet of HTML code is generated. This code can be pasted into any other website to display the badge -- it could be dropped into a Blogger sidebar widget, for example, or the footer of a personal homepage. When the hosting website is rendered, the code pulls the most recent content from Facebook and provides links back to it on the social networking site. This means the photo badge code doesn't need to be updated every time new pictures appear on Facebook, for example.
Examples of Use
Badges are used anywhere you would want to show Facebook content outside of Facebook. For example, a badge could be used to send visitors from your business website to the company's official Facebook page; or to display a slideshow of recent Facebook photos on a personal blog; or to show a snippet of your Facebook profile on an online CV. A badge can be dropped into almost any website or publishing platform.
Creating a Badge
Open up the Facebook Badges landing page and choose the type of badge you'd like to create. You'll then be able to tweak certain settings for the badge -- such as which details are included on a profile badge -- before generating the code necessary to embed it somewhere. If you are placing the badge on a Blogger or Typepad site, select the relevant icon to automatically create a widget.
An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.