Just over a month after releasing Widgetbox's App Accelerator, a shortcut for turning blogs and other Widgetbox widgets into Facebook apps (review), Widgetbox announced an upgrade that enmeshes its apps more completely into Facebook profiles.
According to Widgetbox, creating a functional Flash widget that lives in and operates from the user's profile page was the top developer request. It was mine, too. I wrote that:
"Most Facebook applications launch in a separate window when you click them, taking interaction off the user's profile page (the Facebook-developed Wall is a notable exception). It is therefore tragironic that my Webware blog, whose sole purpose is to make reading headlines instantaneous, never graces my Facebook profile page, and instead is stationed one click in."
To sweeten the deal, Widgetbox has also dangled the golden carrot of customization. Users can now access two areas in the Facebook app-creator to finesse the app's appearance and to craft the profile's story feed and the invitation for friends to join. These dubiously named "viral settings" offer more control over the app's tone, but require a little bit of actual code development, unlike the previous App Accelerator process that required only copying and pasting links. To lighten the burden, Widgetbox lists the syntax and a menu of values for you to emulate when customizing your news feed. Tailoring the feed and invitations' look and feel brings the experience much closer to that of an organic Facebook developer.