5 Things Developers May Not Know About the Upcoming Facebook Redesign

facebook platform developersWith the Facebook profile redesign launch coming in the next few weeks, developers are quickly scrambling to update their apps to adapt to the new profile integration points. However, the latest version of the Platform Changes page on the Developer Wiki explains some changes that haven’t been talked about much yet (though some were mentioned briefly tonight at the Palo Alto Developer Garage). Here’s a quick summary:

1. Users can no longer add app profile boxes during installation. Since the beginning of the Platform, users have had the option (defaulted on) to add an app profile box when adding an app. While this has significantly helped application growth, it has also led to significant profile clutter. After the redesign, users will be able to “add a profile box to the main profile by clicking an Add New Profile Section button which the application can insert into their canvas pages via the fb:add-section-button FBML tag.” The installation process will consist only of authorization to let apps know who users are, but will no longer lead to automatic profile integration.

2. Left side navigation links are moving. Until now, up to 7 applications (including Facebook’s own) have been directly accessible from the left nav.  With the redesign, “Users can directly bookmark applications they are using.” All applications will be accessible from the “Applications” drop down in the Facebook header. “Bookmarked” applications will appear above other apps.

3. Profile action links are gone. According to Facebook, “There are no profile action links for third party applications. Instead, users interact with their friends using applications in the Publisher box.”

4. Feed stories are turned on by default. According to Facebook, “By default, applications can send Feed stories to Users. Users can choose to opt out of having applications send Feed stories.” Currently, users have the choice to opt out of receiving feed stories during app installation. With the simplified app “authorization” process, this checkbox will also be removed.

5. The future of application emails is in doubt. The Wiki says, “The new behavior has not been determined yet.” Sounds like Facebook is unsure of whether continuing to give developers the opportunity to contact users by email is a good idea.

What do all these changes mean for the future of the Platform? Certainly, these changes will present challenges for apps. What’s good for users and good for Facebook is usually good for developers – hopefully, the profile redesign will ultimately be just that.

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5 Responses to “5 Things Developers May Not Know About the Upcoming Facebook Redesign”

  1. Concerned Developer says:

    There is a forum post discussing the problems with potential restriction on emailing users:
    http://forum.developers.facebook.com/viewtopic.php?pid=80327

  2. Jamie says:

    ’5. The future of application emails is in doubt.’ well i always as a user been telling facebook and an occassional developer because a majority of these messages are daily reminders or emails with updates to the application feature.

    These in most cases this can be done by
    1. sending notifications in a way such as ‘appname reminds you to take your daily showcases (My FB House) [not current - suggestion]
    2. using facebook pages ‘updates’ (e.g. scratch & win) more
    3. a ‘update’/ ‘news’ page (e.g. Growing Gifts, Green Patch)

    * 2 and 3 may be used together as both provide ‘updates’

  3. matt says:

    With regard to the gambling apps that are in apparent contradiction to the terms of Facebook.
    It seems Facebook is either very loose on enforcing their App T&Cs or they turn a blind eye to very successful ones who find loopholes. Can you offer any clarity on this ? Can Apps promote gambling/gaming if no money is exchanged on the Facebook domain itself ? I’ve struggled to get a reply from Facebook

  4. Inside Facebook » Upcoming Changes to Application Sessions says:

    [...] addition to these 5 Things Developers May Not Know About the Upcoming Facebook Redesign, Facebook today offered more clarity on how it’s changing the way sessions work and when [...]

  5. Jessus Anderw says:

    I think that this is really a good way to show that the website still exists, as this would help to show the presence of the business.

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