Facebook has just announced their new profile launch and how developers need to integrate. Here are the details:
New Mini-feed Design and Integration
The mini-feed has now been combined with the wall within a user’s profile. This new design was previously announced but details have been revealed about how applications will interact with this new design. There are now three different ways to display a feed story: in one line, in short stories or full stories. Applications will be able to publish one line stories as they previously could without user approval. Short stories and full stories will require user approval.
Applications can also publish these stories in the owner’s friends mini-feed and news feed. This will be limited to 5 friends’ mini-feeds at a time. You can read more about the new feed wall within the developer wiki.
New Profile Integration
Applications will integrate differently with new profiles. As I said earlier this morning there will be a boxes tab and there will still be the ability to display applications within the left-hand narrow column. The “boxes” tab that I wrote about this morning will have two columns, both wide and narrow, that enables applications to have even more points of integration. This provides three separate columns since the profile is now going to be wider then before.
Not only can applications be displayed within the “boxes” tab but they can also be displayed within a new “info” tab which displays profile information that a user feels is important to them. This “info” section is a brand new point of integration. According to the developer wiki, “each application info section comprises a series of fields (like favorite book, friend, or band), where each field can contain one or more items. Items can be text-only or images with titles and descriptions.”
Finally, there will be two types of information sections: text-only info sections and object info sections. To read more about it, check out the application info sections page in the developer wiki.
New Left Column Narrow Boxes
The new narrow left-hand column will be the same as before except that the height is now limited to 250 pixels. According to the developer wiki, “when users switch to the new profile design, up to five of their existing profile boxes will be migrated to the main part of the profile, with additional boxes appearing in their ‘Boxes’ tab.” I can see this change causing some problems for a number of applications that display images down the entire side of users’ profiles.
New “Feed Publisher”
Facebook is completely redefining how users interact with walls. There is now something called a feed publisher which users create content from. Rather than content just displaying on user walls, content can be published directly to feeds. Rather than simply creating wall attachments, there will be feed attachments which show up as wall postings as well as mini-feed stories. More details can be found on the new design publisher page in the developer wiki.
There are a lot of profile design changes coming soon and this is going to significantly change how applications interact with application profiles. Many of these changes could potentially break applications or screw up the way that they are displaying content. While it appears that users can switch between the classic profile design and the new profile design, developers will be working frantically to get their applications updated. You can read more about it on Facebook’s blog post.