Facebook Roundup: Privacy, Echo Nest, Music, Wal-mart, Ooyala, BrightApps and More

Echo Nest Points Out Flaws in Facebook Music – The CEO of Echo Nest, a music industry service provider, published a blog post this week outlining technical problems with Facebook’s music sharing system. It criticizes errors in how Facebook IDs songs that prevents music shared from one service such as Spotify from being played in a different service such as Rdio.

Wal-Mart Offers Localized Deals for Fans – Wal-Mart and Facebook have partnered to offer the retailer’s Facebook fans deals localized to its 3,500 locations in the U.S. Facebook is not working with other merchants in a similar way because of a lack of resources. We wrote about similar types of deals previously, when Facebook tested tools allowing corporations to administrate all the Places pages of the local instances of their business.

Ooyala Analyzes Facebook Videos – Ooyala recently released a video analysis tool, Custom Analytics with Business Dimension Reporting. The tool helps users segment audiences based on behavior on the Facebook platform.

Flowtown Acquired by Demandforce - Small business marketing firm Flowtown was acquired by Demandforce, a marketing solutions company.

BrightEdge Leverages Open Graph – BrightEdge released a new solution for Facebook Pages trying to improve their SEO, the S3 edition includes things like open graph tags, improved search rankings help, engagement measurement and more.

Other Announcements:

Buddy Media Opens San Francisco, Singapore Offices – Buddy Media has opened new offices in San Francisco and Singapore.

Votigo Launches Self-Service Platform, Offers – Votigo has launched self-service access to its social media promotions platform this week. As part of the promotion, the company is offering contest and sweepstakes apps for two cents to the first 2,000 businesses creating a promotion with the platform before the end of October.

Facebook Roundup: Sparapani, BranchOut, AdParlor, Mail.ru, Websense and Michael Jackson

sparapaniSparapani Leaves Facebook – Tim Sparapani, one of Facebook’s initial Washington, D.C. hires, unexpectedly left as director of public policy this week.

Mail.ru Stock Could Be Down for a While - Mail.ru stock has taken a beating in the stock market and some speculate that this could be a permanent move.

BranchOut, CareerBuilder Partner Up – BranchOut, a professional networking app on Facebook, announced this week the company partnered with the job site CareerBuilder.

AdParlor Reaches Agreement with Getty Images – This week Getty Images and AdParlor agreed to provide access to 1.2 million images directly to AdParlor customers purchasing ads on Facebook. This will relieve advertisers using AdParlor’s Pulse Ads API tool for agencies from having to create their own image or pay to license stock images.

Facebook, Websense Team Up – Web security firm Websense and Facebook teamed up this week to protect users against malicious sites and malware.

Complications with Michael Jackson Livestream – AllThingsD reported this week complications emerged when a Michael Jackson concert that was supposed to be livestreamed on Facebook was cancelled.

Facebook Platform Updates: Frictionless Requests 2.0, OAuth 2.0 and HTTPS Deadlines Tomorrow, FBML Ending June 2012

Yesterday, Facebook announced updates to the Requests 2.0 including the introduction of frictionless requests that don’t require users to complete a Requests dialog. This could get users to send more Requests, helping apps gain new users and reengage existing users. However, some users might opt in to frictionless requests without fully understanding the feature’s implications, and later be surprised to find out their in-app actions have been sending Requests to their friends

It also set the deprecation schedule for FBML. Support will be discontinued on January 1st, 2012, and apps using FBML will cease to work on June 1st, 2012. Last week’s Platform Update also noted additions to the Graph API, a change to setAutoResize, and a new way for developers to have their apps indexed. Finally, tomorrow is the migration deadline for OAuth 2.0 and HTTPS.

Requests 2.0 Updates

Previously, developers had to force users through a Requests dialog every time they want to send a Request. Developers can now enable frictionless requests, which allows them to automatically send Requests on behalf of its users when a user opts to send a Request to a friend they’ve already sent one to.

If enabled, when users go to send their first request to a specific friend, they’ll see a checkbox for “Don’t ask again before sending Requests to [this friend] from this app.” Next time they opt to send a Request to that same friend from that same app, the Request will be automatically sent without interrupting usage of the app.

As Requests are an important driver of growth and retention for apps, making it easier for users to send Requests should help apps increase their user counts. Frictionless Requests may also be compatible with Facebook’s forthcoming HTML5 mobile app platform, which will allow users to send Requests that are delivered as notifications.

Facebook is also implementing a new breaking change to Requests 2.0 that will improve its performance. A new migration setting called “Requests 2.0 Efficient” is now available in the Developer app. When activated this “changes the format for request IDs in the JavaScript requests callback method.” Developers should make the change to their JavaScript and then enable the migration.

In 90 days on January 1st, 2012, all apps will be opted into both Requests 2.0 Efficient and Upgrade to Requests 2.0. Developers should make sure they’re ready to prevent breakage. New apps are now opted into both these migrations and cannot opt out. Apps are also now responsible for deleting old Requests. Details for making the migration are available in the Requests documentation.

FBML Deprecation

Facebook announced over a year ago its plans to deprecate FBML. In March 2011, it ceased to allow new FBML apps to be created. Now it has scheduled the final two steps of the deprecation.

On January 1st, 2012 Facebook will stop supporting FBML and cease to fix bugs except for those related to privacy and security. On June 1st, 2012, Facebook will remove all FBML endpoints and any apps built on the language will stop functioning. The deprecation will make Facebook app development more accessible as programmers won’t have to use a proprietary language.

The two main parts of FBML that remain useful to developers are Requests and Static FBML. Requests can now be handled with Requests 2.0, and Static FBML can be replaced with iframe apps. Several Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants offer free iframe app builders, including Wildfire Interactive. Facebook has also worked with Wildfire to offer a FBML to iframe migration tutorial. XFBML will not be deprecated.

Platform Updates

As detailed in a Platform Update, problems with FB.Canvas.setAutoResize have forced Facebook to rename the call for controlling how an app is displayed on the Canvas page. The function is now named FB.Canvas.setAutoGrow and only works for increasing the size of an app. To shrink an app, Facebook recommends using “FB.Canvas.setSize with a height parameter to set the iframe height explicitly.” FB.Canvas.setAutoResize will be deprecated on January 1st, 2012.

Mutual friends between two users can now be retrieved from the Graph API with the call: https://graph.facebook.com/me/mutualfriends/FRIEND_ID

The following information about an application can now be pulled from the Graph API:

  • canvas_name
  • logo_url
  • icon_url
  • company
  • daily_active_users
  • weekly_active_users
  • monthly_active_users

To do so, developers can use the call https://graph.facebook.com/ANY_APP_ID

To simplify how apps are indexed by Facebook’s internal search engine, now when apps reach 10 month active users they are queued to be indexed in the next index rebuild which happens ever two to four weeks. Developers no long need use the setting page’s Submit to Search link. This will make sure apps that are gaining users aren’t accidentally left out of search.

OAuth 2.0 and HTTPS Migration Deadline Tomorrow

In May, Facebook announced that developers would eventually need to migrate to a more secure way to pass access tokens and allow users to browse their apps over a secure HTTPS connection. This followed a security issue where apps were found to be leaking permissions tokens that could give third-parties unauthorized access to user data. The migration becomes mandatory tomorrow, October 1st, 2011.

Developers must use OAuth 2.0 for authentication, encrypt access tokens, and have an SSL certificate and provide a secure browsing URL. To assist developers, Facebook has released admin.setAppProperties which allows the necessary settings changes to be made programmatically. FBML apps must also have SSL certificates and secure browsing URLs.

Four Strategic Changes for the Facebook Platform and Open Graph

Facebook introduces platform changes today that will help it diversify beyond social gaming and add new user acquisition points for developers. Here are four key changes happening now:

1) Facebook is making a serious effort to diversify the platform beyond gaming and marketing by expanding the kinds of structured behavior users can share.

Facebook has long had a conflicted relationship with the fact that the most mature verticals on the platform have been social gaming and marketing. The platform has spawned companies like Zynga, which was founded just four years ago and went on to earn $279 million in revenue in the second quarter of this year.

But the platform has yet to produce a third-party business of similar size in another industry even though Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has repeated in multiple events that he believes that social networking will revolutionize every industry from the ground up.

Today, the company is expanding the range of structured actions users can take on the platform. Users can now “Watch,” “Listen,” “Cook,” or “Run,” among numerous other types of behavior. It adds more granularity to the “Like,” button, and will ideally fuel the growth of many types of apps beyond gaming. The company showed off a number of examples apps like “Social Cooking” and the Spotify integration, where users can catalogue what they’ve cooked or what music they’ve listened to.

The question is whether adding a social layer and stronger viral distribution on Facebook will help make these long-troubled industries like music and media more financially viable. Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek did say on-stage today at the developer conference that Facebook-integrated users were more likely to pay for the service, but didn’t specify by how much.

2) Graph Rank adds interests to the social graph, matching users with the types of news feed stories like music, cooking or movie-themed ones that are most likely to engage them.

Facebook is adding another layer of sophistication to the Open Graph today that will match news feed stories with users based on their interests. So users who are likely to click on music-themed stories, will probably see more music-related activity in their news feed. It appears to build on platform changes the company introduced within the last year that matched gaming activity with users who play games.

3) Facebook will make it easier for developers to get users to continuously share their activity on the network.

Since the company’s botched launch of Beacon four years ago, Facebook has struggled with how to boost sharing activity in a way that respects the privacy of users. As the company has matured and attracted more mainstream users, it’s had to learn how and when to push online social mores without damaging its brand too much.

Today, the company is doing a careful pendulum swing back toward more continuous sharing by letting users give third-party apps the ability to constantly stream their activity. Users maintain control because they can toggle on or off the ability of third-party apps to share their behavior. The news feed is also far more sophisticated now and can filter out activity that’s uninteresting so users don’t have to worry about bombarding their friends. But there is still potential for abuse.

4) Developers can focus on three user acquisition points on the platform: timeline, news feed and the ticker.   

With timeline and ticker, Facebook introduces two new user acquisition points for developers this week. One is the ticker, which shares activity on the network with more emphasis on how recently it was published. The second is the news feed which appears to be relatively unchanged from before in that developers need to get their users to share updates that can easily attract likes and comments for higher rank.

The third — the Timeline — is probably the most difficult to break into. A third-party app would have to produce a news feed story that attracts enough engagement that it might count as the best update from a given month or year of a user’s life.

Ticker: Low barriers to access, but likely a lower clickthrough rate. Ticker was introduced last week and shows a live feed of user activity from across the web. Facebook vice president Mike Schroepfer said during a press question-and-answer session at the developer conference today that the company will continually to tweak the ticker for more engaging activity. So there is some filtering for engagement, but less than what would be seen on the news feed.

News Feed: Similar to before. High barriers to access. An item would need to have high EdgeRank (e.g. a user would see an item if the update itself attracted many likes or comments or if it was from a friend they often interact with on Facebook).

Timeline: High barriers to access. Timeline is a new profile view that lets people see a visual history of a user’s life. To see something in Timeline, the news feed story would have to be the most engaging from a given month or year in a user’s life or they’d have to intentionally curate it into their Timeline.

Or a user could add an application to their timeline, akin to what “Boxes” used to do in letting users feature applications on their profile page until it was removed last year.

Platform Update: New Bug System and Platform Live Status Page, Credits Features, Event APIs

Over the past week and a half, Facebook has posted to the Developers Blog announcing several new tools, protocols and capabilities for developers. These include

  • Better ways to submit bugs and track the API heath of the Platform,
  • Changes to the DealSpot and Games Dashboard Featured Status incentives for developers who have integrated Facebook Credits
  • A migration system where breaking changes are only pushed on the first day of the month
  • Support for OAuth 2.0 with XMPP
  • The deprecation of Auth 1.0 and the FB.Data call
  • The ability to manage Events and upload high-resolution photos via the Graph API
  • A more direct way for games to handle link clicks on the canvas page
  • The option to detect and control flash object visibility in apps

New Platform Tools

The Facebook Platform Live Status page has been redesigned and augmented with new functionality. Developers now see the current health of the Platform and when the latest JSON push was completed, followed by a list of the five latest Platform issues and graphs of the average API response time and error count.
Additionally, developers can hook their apps up to a feed of the JSON pushes so they can set their apps to begin automated testing once a push has completed. This will help developers ensure their tests are being performed on the latest code.
Facebook is replacing the Bugzilla bug tracking system developed by Mozilla with its own system that won’t require a separate log in. Developers will first see the top 20 trending bugs and options to search for, browse, and filter bugs by phrase or tag. Once devs have found a report about their bug they can subscribe to email updates, notify Facebook they’re experience it too, discuss workaround with other developers.
In order to speed up the resolution process, devs must include repro steps including IDs and access tokens in order to add a new bug report. Bugzilla is now read-only so devs should begin using the new Bugs tool. Slow bug resolution has been one of the biggest problems with the Platform. By developing a system that reduces the number of redundant bug reports and relieves the Facebook team from having to reach out and ask for repro steps, the site may be able resolve bugs more efficiently.

High Level Changes

On October 14th, Facebook will open to all Facebook Credits developers several of the special incentive features that were initially used to encourage early adoption of Credits as a currency and payment method.

Developers will gain the ability to target specific demographics with DealSpot, a TrialPay-developed system that shows in-game icons leading to offers users can complete to earn Facebook Credits. DealSpot presents offers to users that might not have visited the offer wall, so developers looking to augment sales of virtual goods with another revenue stream should strongly consider activating the feature.

All developers will also gain access to broad category targeting, which lets them target Facebook Ads to users based on their interest in anything related to a selected topic. Facebook actually began testing this feature in April as an alternative to targeting specific keywords. The ability to target all social gamers rather than just fans or the Pages of certain games, Broad Category Interest targeting could help developers attain more new customers with less effort spent on ad targeting.

Facebook’s free marketing system known as Games Dashboard Featured Status and Social Placements will also become available to developers of games integrated with Credits. Games eligible for the promotions are “evaluated on a case by case basis, such as for game quality, genre and new functionality”. The system will be especially helpful to developers that are building great games but that don’t have big marketing budgets.

Recently, Facebook announced that developers would have a minimum of 90 days between the announcement of a breaking change and its implementation. To make adapting to these changes more predictable, Facebook now says it will only push breaking changes on the first day of any given month. This will reduce stress for developers, since they won’t have to worry that they may have missed an announcement about a breaking change that could suddenly take their app down.

For example, Facebook announced on September 16th that the FB.Data calls for waiting until specific queries were completed to perform an action will be deprecated. As such, the FB.Data calls will be deprecated on the first day of the month following the minimum 90 day period, January 1st, 2012.

Developers of XMPP Facebook Chat clients can now begin migrating to OAuth 2.0. They can use access tokens over SSL rather than sig and session_key parameters. As such, Facebook will deprecate Auth.promotesession on October 1st. The move to OAuth 2.0 will protect Chat clients from some types of data leaks.

A reminder, mandatory migration to OAuth 2.0 is coming on October 1st. Developers will need to have switched to the new JavaScript and PHP SDKs by then.

Specific Changes

Developers can now manage invite lists and check RSVP status for Events using the Graph API in addition to creating and deleting Events. This could help developers create powerful interfaces for professional event managers, or create an Events dashboard for users.

Facebook improved its Photos product last month, increasing the maximum photo size from 760 to 920 pixels. Photos uploaded through the Graph API can now have a maximum size of 920 pixels as well. However, photos returned through the API will still have a maximum size of 720 pixels, so there are no actual changes to what’s received from the API or FQL. The change will keep users from abandoning photo upload and editing apps when they want to upload high resolution photos.

By using FB.Canvas.SetUrlHandler, developers can now select to have clicks of links related to their apps from ticker stories, bookmarks, bookmark drop-down Requests and Request Notification stories be handled in-line in the apps. Previously, these clicks would needlessly redirect a user when they were already viewing the app the link led to.

For example, if an app employs FB.Canvas.SetUrlHandler, a user who clicks on a ‘your move’ Request or an achievement story while already viewing the app that published the Request or story wouldn’t be sent to the corresponding URL, but would be brought to the corresponding screen within the app. This should decrease load times and bounces from users clicking links on the Canvas page.

Flash applications using wmode=”window” rather than the recommended wmode=”opaque” can now pass a callback function to hideFlashCallback to FB.init to customize the visibility of flash elements when popups are shown. Previously, Flash objects could become hidden when popups were shown.

Facebook’s Unannounced Like Button Extension for Chrome Is Live and Waiting for Users

Facebook quietly launched a Like button browser extension for Chrome a couple months ago, TechCrunch has discovered today. The extension appears as a button to the right of the search and address box in the Chrome interface, and as an option in the right-click menu. As one might expect, it lets you like any web page, share content and your commentary back to Facebook, and see the number of other Facebook users who have liked a post.

Interestingly, it appears to have been released around when Google+ launched in late June, possibly in reaction to hints that Google had their own +1 button extension coming. Google did — but the product only just launched this week.

Maybe Facebook is planning a big push of the plugin at f8 or something? But the lack of promotion that the company has given the plugin suggests that it was a side project or test done by an individual or small team of engineers. As of now, the extension has 555 users.

It seems to work well enough from a user perspective, but could use a bit more polish. For example, if you Like one page, then use hotkey commands to go to other open tabs, the popout description of the Like will remain overlaying the browser.

The overall aim of this sort of feature is to get more users sharing more information through Facebook, and so make its site more valuable to developers and advertisers. It could also give Facebook additional data about its users.

As TechCrunch notes, some users have been concerned about these types of extensions sharing browsing activity and other sensitive information back to the parent company. If you use Facebook’s extension while you’re logged in to Facebook, the company says it will see the URL, your IP address, and when you visited the site. Both companies disclose what data their extensions access in their Chrome Web Store extension descriptions, so users should decide if they’re willing to share browsing activity in exchange for using the product. If it makes leery users feel any better, Facebook and Google both have a wide range of other ways to track users online identities and behaviors, as do countless other web companies.

Facebook has experimented with various types of persistent web interfaces over the years, notably browser toolbars and a navigation toolbar tested for a while in 2008 that appeared above any page that users had clicked to from inside the site. Some web companies, like StumbleUpon, have successfully used persistent browser add-ons to drive usage. Facebook has more often emphasized other ways of making its services effective beyond its home site, like Connect and Graph API-based products such as the Like button. Perhaps its ongoing interest in browser technology and development will result in more features like this extension.

RoomSync Leverages Facebook Data to Help Colleges Match Roommates

RoomSync has been quietly building a business around helping college students find the right roommate, through a service that integrates Facebook profile data. Enabled by a growing number of universities for on-campus housing, it accesses very particular portions of a user’s profile information, then allows students to enter their own information into the app, and lets them browse and locate their own roommate matches.

Robert J. Castellucci, one of four co-founders of RoomSync, tells us the idea for the company started when he was tasked with roommate matching in a previous job. This type of work is always tedious, he said, largely because it’s done by third parties. What RoomSync does is allows students to determine their own types of preferences for roommates, throwing Facebook profile information into the mix, something the company currently does for 21 institutions across the United States.

Thus far the company has a total of 27,000 users, with many coming in just the last few months. RoomSync offers as a subscription to which institutions subscribe, which includes an initial setup fee and an annual fee, but is free to students, the users.

Castellucci adds that RoomSync has managed not only to match roommates, but to build community and help students make friends before they start school at some of the company’s participating institutions. One school’s reported roommate conflicts went down, as did the severity of the conflicts, and that diversity was unaffected between roommates by use of the app.

First, students receive an email from the institution with an access code. On Facebook, the app culls Likes, such as music and TV and books, and then places students into matching networks. Users can share their use of the app to the stream as a feed story, too. There are five default questions asked by the app and the institution may add up to five more for matching purposes; these questions include their smoking preference or to describe their ideal roommate, for example. There’s a box where they can fill in additional information (that’s moderated for inappropriate content), too.

Then users search the app via academic majors, residence halls where they would like to live, they can view suggested roommates (based on Likes) and then communicate with them over Facebook before selecting their roommates via the Request Roommate option. The recipient of this invitation must confirm, and all dual confirmations are sent to the university for final assignations; once these are made, the app closes for users.

[Courtesy Images]

Platform Update: Credits Insights, Platform Policies, App to User Request Messages

Amongst a flurry of announcements about changes to games on its platform, Facebook recently updated the Developers Blog regarding the addition of a new Insights analytics tab for Facebook Credits. The latest Platform Update also included announcements about how app-to-user request notifications will now show the notification’s message; new capabilities for the Graph API, activity and recommendation plugins, and the Graph API Explorer; as well as clarifications of two Facebook Platform Policies.

Developers of Facebook apps that use Facebook Credits will now or soon see a Credits tab in their Insights dashboard. Credits Insights graphs the information developers receive in their daily Credits reports, name spend, chargebacks, and refunds. Developers can select date ranges for these graphs, compare time periods, and export data in XLS or CSV format.

Credits Insights, accessible to those with the Administrator role on a given app, will help developers determine how effectively their apps and games are monetizing. The Insights graphs are more efficient for determining the impact of design changes or market forces on monetization than the more momentary Credits reports. With time, Facebook may add more data to Credits Insights that could help developers better understand who is spending within their apps, and what is convincing them to make purchases.

Facebook quietly changed some important Platform Policies recently, banning promotion of apps on some types of competing social platforms and restricting how developers can reward their users. In the Platform Update, it announced two smaller deletions from its policy document:

FPP IV.4: You must provide users with an easily identifiable “skip” option whenever you present users with an option to use a Facebook social channel.

Apps no longer have to include a skip option because apps must always obtain user consent before posting on their behalf.

FPP IV.5: You must not provide users with the option to publish more than one Stream story at a time.

This deletion permits apps to let users publish to the walls of multiple friends simultaneously. Group communication, group buying, multi-player gaming, and other types of apps will now be able to let users choose multiple recipients for a wall post rather than put users through several redundant share steps.

The policy was likely put in place initially to reduce the potential for wall post spam. However, Facebook has been refining its app quality ranking system such that apps that publish posts that are frequently hidden or marked as spam will receive fewer impressions of their news feed content and risk suspension. Facebook apparently sees these repercussions as adequate to discourage spam.

App to user Request notifications that appear in the Apps and Games Dashboards now include the message originally included with the Request, making them a more effective method for developers to communicate with their users and ping them with calls to action. Before, these notifications didn’t include the message. The change could increase the conversion rate on app-to-user Requests. The counters for pending Requests will also appear in the new Games Ticker.

Developers using Facebook’s Activity or Recommendations plugins now have the option to prevent old or outdated content from appearing in the plugins. The  max_age field lets developers set the number of days within which a URL must have been created to be eligible for display within the plugin.

For example, ’0′ would make all stories show up regardless of URL creation date similar to how the plugin worked before, whereas ’14′ would require the URL to have been created in the last two weeks. The option will make the plugins more useful to developers of sites focused on breaking news or other real-time content.

The Graph API Explorer now permits developers to quickly generate access tokens for one of the apps they admin. This will make it easier to test APIs that require users to grant permissions to an app.

Rather than using the legacy REST API, developers can now determine if a user Likes a Page using the Graph API call:

https://graph.facebook.com/me/likes/PAGE_ID
&access_token=ACCESS_TOKEN

This could help apps determine if a user is eligible to see fan-only content protected by a Like-gate.

Facebook to Migrate the Ads API to the Graph API, Releases Ads Power Editor Source Code

Facebook today announced it would be migrating the now publicly available Ads API from the legacy REST API to the Graph API by January 2012, and that programmatic access to new features will only be available via the Graph API. Developers of Ads API tools and services that allow for efficient management of massive Facebook ad campaigns should look to migrate as soon as possible to retain access to forthcoming improvements.

Facebook has also released the source code for the Ads Power Editor, its internally developed Ads API tool, to provide a development example..

 

The Ads API was officially launched to the public at the beginning of August after nearly two years of private beta testing with a limited set of partners. It joined the Pages and Insights APIs to form the Facebook Marketing APIs.

The Ads API permits developers to devise apps that manage Facebook ads programmatically, permitting simultaneous creation of thousands of ad variants, dynamic bid optimization, and deep analytics. These functionalities are crucial to running large scale ad campaigns for brands and game developers at the lowest possible cost.

The Ads API spawned a whole industry of licensable tool and managed spend service providers. We’ve reviewed the offerings of many of these companies, including those catering specifically to certain verticals such as TBG Digital for brands, AdParlor for game developers, Spruce Media for direct response advertisers, and Efficient Frontier for those also running search advertising.

The migration announcement should set the development teams of these companies into high gear so they can provide their customers with the latest improvement to the Ads API, such as new Sponsored Stories ad unit types, analytics data fields, and targeting options. With single clients sometimes representing millions in ad spend, no Ads API provider would want to lose their edge to competitors that have migrated from the legacy REST API to the Graph API before the January deadline.

Developers who’ve been approved to access the Ads API and have migrated to the Graph API will need users to authorize their ads apps with ads_management permission. The developers may then begin making Graph API calls on their behalf. The new Ads on the Graph API documentation provides for details on migrating and Ads API use.

By looking at the Ads Power Editor source code, developers can learn how to build basic functionality for creating campaigns, buying ads, managing bids, and reporting performance. By moving to the modern, widely used Graph API and providing example code, development of Ads API tools should become easier. This could lead to creation of more niche Ads API tools and services for specific industries.

Platform Update: OAuth 2.0 Spec Migration Required by November 5th, PHP SDK, Video

The last Platform Update to the Facebook Developer Blog announced a mandatory migration to a new spec of OAuth 2.0. It only requires a small code change, but all developers must implement it by November 5th. Facebook also noted that a slightly updated version of the PHP SDK will be released tomorrow, August 9th. This week, Facebook also provided a walk through of how developers can allow users to upload videos to their profiles through an application.

Facebook is currently migrating to OAuth 2.0, a secure authorization protocol that allows applications to keep User IDs and access tokens private when transmitted. All developers must migrate their apps to OAuth 2.0 by October 1st.

Facebook jointly publishes the OAuth spec with Yahoo! and Microsoft. A change to this spec necessitates a changes to Facebook’s auth APIs will also change, which in turn requires a minor change to API calls.

As of November 5th, 2011, auth API calls that previously used included “code_and_token” will instead need to use “code%20token“. All other elements of auth API calls remain identical.

In other OAuth news, tomorrow Facebook will release v3.1 of its PHP SDK. The OAuth 2.0-ready versions of the PHP and JavaScript SDKs were initially slated for a July 1st launch. However the PHP SDK was finished early and released in late May, while technical difficulties delayed the JS SDK until late July.

During the delay of the JS SDK, there were apparently some improvements made upon what was released in the v3 of the PHP SDK. The new v3.1 PHP SDK update to be released tomorrow will “leverage the recent changes to the JavaScript SDK”. Developers can download the update on GitHub.

Facebook has been publishing a series of how-to guides that explain how developers can add advanced functionality to and optimize performance of their apps and websites. Previously, Facebook published a how-to for optimizing social plugin performance. The guides consolidate clear instructions so developers don’t have to dig through forums or use trial and error to achieve the functionality they desire.

The How-To: Use the Graph API to Upload a Video (iOS) guide explains that by allowing users to upload video through an app, that app can gain new users since a link to it is included alongside video content. The guide covers how to:

  1. Start a new project
  2. Add a sample video to your project
  3. Set up the Facebook class
  4. Set up permissions and the authentication handler
  5. Setup up the video upload Graph API call
  6. Handle the results
  7. Add single sign-on (SSO) support
  8. Test the app
  9. Set video privacy
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