Problem: Facebook Tabs Aren’t Mobile Friendly [VLOG]

First, I’m kicking it old school again this week as I filmed from my office. I’m waiting for one part in the mail before I can go back to the studio. Thanks for your patience!

As always, I’ll be answering one of your questions every week. Great question this week from PonyBoy Press:

why aren’t tabs supported in mobile and why isn’t that clear when we’re being forced to use pay for apps(and tabs) for contests

This is something misunderstood by many — if not most — Facebook marketers. They create a Facebook tab and link to it, thinking everyone can see it.

Not true! If you use the direct link, it will not work on a mobile device. So, are you wasting money on tabs?

Nope. I use ShortStack (here’s a review I wrote). They provide a smart URL so that when you share it, anyone can see it.

I’m sure other services offer smart links as well, but ShortStack is the only one I use and can recommend.

Take a look! And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

  • David Foster

    I see so many brands saying “mobile ready tabs” and it pisses me off, because it is a lie. We are going to have special links as well in our new version and will have 100% responsive design so that no matter where people are viewing, they will fit their browser. This is so much more important than it was just a year ago…

    I just wish that people would not get dragged into things like this, and shame on any brand for trying to do so!!!!

  • LinRP

    Thing is, even with smart links a message often pops up on iPads that says you have to install cookies to view the custom apps. Many, many potential customers (not everyone is web savvy) tell me “the link doesn’t work” or they think it’s a “virus.” You’ve never encountered this, Jon?

    Basically, I gave up and send outside toa squeeze page.

  • Dan Jost


    I plugged in your Smart URL from your video into my iPhone and it displayed (which is cool), but I am not on Facebook’s website. When I plugged the Smart URL into my desktop, I was directed to your page tab, but it was on FB this time.

    In one of your previous posts you noted the importance of keeping people on FB when advertising, so you could receive two positive actions (a Like or a contest entry, for example) and to also receive a discount on the cost.

    Just wondering the benefit of using a Smart URL vs having a mobile friendly external website. Will the Smart URL save you on bidding costs because it is somehow technically linked to FB?


  • Alan Martin

    Is the Smart URL feature on ShortStack part of the free plan or do you need to upgrade to one of their paid solutions?

    • Antonio Calero

      YES, Shortstack free plan gives you access to the smart URL feature too.

  • Antonio Calero

    I’ve used many of these tools, and Shortstack is by far the best I’ve seen. I discovered it thanks to you so….BIG THANK YOU.

    Another cool feature for mobile offered by Shorstack is… QR codes: once your tab has been installed, the tool will create a QR code so users could access your promotion simply by scanning it. I’ve found that very useful with some clients…

  • Dan Erickson

    I’m a newbie at this stuff. I appreciate the education and advice.

  • Hugh Briss

    All of the tab pages I design using Thunderpenny’s iframe app are mobile friendly and most of the good app providers are offering mobile friendly URLs. Woobox was the first as I recall.

  • Alison

    Love Shortstack, for this amongst many other reasons.

  • Frederick Tubiermont

    instead of hoping that your Facebook tabs will render on mobile, I invite you to create a mobile adsy app in the browser of your smartphone. It’s a great new format (check out

  • Brianna

    Hello, I am needing a bit of assistance from someone who is a lot more knowledgable in this area.
    I just opened a facebook store with shopify, and it is a tab which is obviously a problem for my mobile users. How am I able to make my entire store (multiple pages) mobile friendly??