Platform Update: Mobile Hack Day, International Payment Methods for Credits, Privacy Retrieval

Facebook has made several developer-focused announcements over the past few days, including that it has released more free tickets to its Mobile Hack event at Facebook headquarters this Friday. This will give more developers the opportunity to learn about building Facebook-integrated native native and HTML5 mobile apps.

Nine new international Facebook Credits payment methods have been added to make it easier for those abroad to buy Credits. Additionally, developers now have the capability to programmatically check if an app is installed on a Page and what privacy setting a user has selected for an app.

Facebook recently launched a blog specifically for HTML5 developers, and there announced it would hold an all-day Mobile Hack event at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto on October 28th. The event will cover iOS, Android, and HTML5 mobile web development for the new Facebook mobile app Platform. It will feature: “technical deep-dives, a Q&A, partner presentations, and an opportunity for you and your team to hack on site with Facebook developer team assistance. At the end of the day, awards will be given to the best mobile social apps.”

Developers can register to attend Mobile Hack for free on Eventbrite, though tickets are limited and will likely sell out the same way the mini-f8 Open Graph Technology Days Facebook held around the country did. They may then begin working on their hack project, as apps don’t need to be built from scratch at the event. The schedule for Mobile Hack is as follows:

10:00am – Registration Open
11:00am – Facebook Platform on Mobile
11:45am - New Features: Social Discovery on Mobile
12:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm –   Partner Presentations and Best Practices
2:30pm -  Native Distribution for Web Apps
3:00pm -  Break
3:15pm -  Open Graph and Mobile
4:00pm -  Q&A
5:00pm -  Dinner
5:00pm -  Hack
11:00pm – App Presentation & Awards
11:30pm – Event Close

There hasn’t quite been a blitz of mobile app development since the new Platform opened earlier this month. The launch partner apps show some promise, but traffic has been slow. Creating a healthy mobile app platform is key to Facebook growing mobile engagement and making money through mobile Credits. Facebook is hoping the new HTML5 resource center and Mobile Hack will give developers the understanding necessary to explore the mobile platform’s viral channels.

Alongside the announcement of initial test of Facebook Credits for Websites, Facebook listed that Credits can now be bought with several new international payment methods. The news benefits developers, as users are more likely to become paying customers if it’s easy for them to acquire Credits.

Many of the new payment methods are online payment solutions for Southeast Asia and South America, which have become important secondary markets for developers. Facebook now supports over 80 payment methods in 50 countries. They new methods include:

  • Axeso5 (Brazil)
  • Join Card (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand)
  • Malaysia OBT (Malaysia)
  • MEPS FPX (Malaysia)
  • MEPSCASH (Malaysia)
  • PayEasy (Philippines)
  • PaysBuy (Thailand)
  • SafetyPay (Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Austria, Brazil)
  • WebCash (Malaysia)

The Graph API can now be used to determine if an app has been installed on a Page. An HTTP GET request to /PAGE_ID/tabs/APP_ID will return the IDs of any app installed on a Page when used with a Page admin access token, and whether a particular app is installed when used with that app’s access token. This will allow Page management apps to determine what tab apps have or haven’t been installed  on a Page they oversee.

The new app authentication flow allows users to set the widest possible audience for content shared through that app. Now developers can retrieve a user’s privacy selection via the privacy setting table. This way, when apps present users with subsequent privacy selectors, they can default to a user’s previously chosen privacy setting. This keeps users from thinking their existing privacy settings have been changed.

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