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Creating Facebook Apps with Zembly

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/31/2009

Zembly is a new tool, still in beta, that allows people to create their own Facebook apps. Read on to find out more about how you can use to it to enhance user experience of your website.

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    What is Zembly?

    Zembly, currently in beta, is an application development environment specifically for social networking applications such as the ones seen on Facebook and MySpace. It does more and does it faster than coding and developing a facebook app with other methods, and can be done using templates. For those interested in getting started developing social networking applications, this is a great way to learn. Users can share their codes with Zembly developers, too.

    Use Zembly to:

    • Advertise a product or service
    • Further a brand
    • Make money
    • For fun and games

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    Features of Zembly

    According to the Zembly website:

    • Everything is browser-based, so there's nothing to download.
    • Social Programming: Allows users to control the amount of the app they share for others to use. Apps can be private, or totally open, meaning people can use bits and pieces of another app to create their own.
    • Network with other users. Zembly is like another MySpace or Facebook in itself.
    • Templates help users develop applications in just a few clicks.
    • Clone parts of other apps, as long as the original author has given permission to do so.
    • APIs are easier to use. Many of the most popular APIs can be called with one line of code.
    • Bring Your Own API: If a user has an API on their server, they can call it into the app.
    • IDE Editor: Gives users complete control of the design and functionality in the social media app.
    • Hosting: Because Zembly has "built-in hosting," there's no need to worry about where to host the app. This makes facebook apps easier to deploy to the target audience.
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    Using Zembly

    To get started using Zembly, no account is needed, though a sign up option is available. Choose the "Try it Now" option. The following screen will present these choices: starter widget, map widget, and gift application. Click on the one you want to make to get started.

    Now, you'll be able to watch a video. The first step is to create an application on Facebook. It will provide an API to you, which you'll need to use to develop the application. Starter code is available to help you. If you want other people to help you develop the application, you can send invitations to other contributors.

    Sample apps are available to show users exactly what can be done with Zembly. Some of these apps allow for cloning while others do not.