Update: As of June 8, 2011, it appears Facebook has killed this functionality. Adina posted a comment below with a link to Facebook's Feed dialog documentation: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/dialogs/feed/. It's got everything you need to do this there. I'll eventually update this post to reflect these docs. Update #2: As of July 5, 2011, it appears the method I talked about in this post is working again. Just as Facebook killed it once though, they may do it again, for now though, it looks like it's working.
If you read my previous post on setting Twitter status using Flash, you?re going to have some déjà vu with this post. The easy Facebook method (as apposed to the more involved method, which we?ll cover in a future post) is nearly identical to way we updated Twitter status. In that light, I?m not going to cover any of the previous details, like how the error message is displayed and why we?re using a drop down. It?s all covered in the Twitter post though.
The Flash version in action
Let?s take a look at what the Flash piece does. The user selects a phrase from the drop down menu then can preview the resulting message in their Facebook status box. (If they are not logged into Facebook, they are prompted to log in first.) Try it out. If you actually post a status update to your Facebook page about reading SuperGeekery, you are a geek and I appreciate it. You can also download the source files here.
The Flash movie can't be displayed on your device.
The Magic URL
I said this is going to be easy though, and it is as long as you know the magic URL from Facebook. To pre-populate the status field in Facebook for someone, you add a URLEncoded string to a special URL For example:
If downloaded the source files you can start to pick apart the Flash movie and customize it.
So this was pretty easy, but you might notice that it's missing some of the bells and whistles that Facebook allows. For example, you didn't get a chance to show a custom image next to your post or have a headline, subhead or custom links attached to this status update. This isn't included in the easy method unfortunately. We'll cover that soon though, so stay tuned. (UPDATE: The 'hard' way is now live as well. Read Setting Facebook Status with Flash (The Hard Way) for more info.