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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Displaying Random Content

Problem

I’d like to display some content on my Canvas page, randomly selected from a few different options.

Solution

The fb:random and nested fb:random-option tags are the answer. The simplest form is:

<fb:random>
    <fb:random-option>You're cool!</fb:random-option>
    <fb:random-option>You're awesome!</fb:random-option>
</fb:random>

Discussion

Profile Boxes are a really great use of the fb:random tag, which gives you the ability to have different content appear each time the page refreshes, even though Profile Box content isn’t really dynamic.

You can assign weighting to the different options if there’s something you’d like shown more often than the other options:

<fb:random>
    <fb:random-option weight="2">
        A: This will be shown twice as often as B
    </fb:random-option>
    <fb:random-option weight="1">
        B: This will be show half as often as A
    </fb:random-option>
</fb:random>

The weights can be any number greater than zero, and they are relative to each other rather than being relative to a fixed starting point (so a weight of 800 will still be shown twice as often as a weight of 400, not 800 times more often).

You can also have fb:random select more than one option by specifying a count of the number you’d like returned in the pick parameter. By default, fb:random will try to pick unique options (i.e., it won’t return the same option more than once), but you can override that by specifying false in the unique parameter:

<fb:random pick="2" unique="false"> <fb:random-option>You're ...

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