Facebook Now Directing Typeahead Search Traffic Straight to Apps

Facebook has updated the functionality of typeahead search to direct users straight to applications instead of navigating users to the app’s About Page.

This change makes it easier for existing users to find apps they’ve already installed (and perhaps cannot find on the newly alphabetized Bookmark list), but it could also result in more app installs as new users encounter less friction when seeking out new apps by name.

In its weekly developer blog post, Facebook also announced a series of breaking changes that go into effect today, December 1:

  • OAuth spec migration: In order to be compliant with the OAuth spec we have made changes to our auth APIs. As part of this update, we will be deprecating ‘code_and_token’ and need developers to use ‘code%20token’. Everything is identical, just replace ‘_and_’ with encoded ‘%20’.
  • Deprecating Dashboard APIs: These APIs are no longer supported and will not be available past this date. This does not include the Dashboard count APIs which will deprecate on the FBML and Request 1.0 schedule (no support past Jan 1st 2012, and removed June 1st 2012).
  • Apps on Facebook: FB.Canvas.getPageInfo must be called with callback: The FB.Canvas.getPageInfo method will have to be called with a callback function. This was previously not required. See this blog post for more information.
  • Removing Bookmark URL: As mentioned here, this optional field was originally created to help developers track user referrals from app bookmarks. We now pass a ref parameter to let you know that the user is coming from a bookmark (i.e., ref=bookmarks). As a result, we removed Bookmark URL. While many developers left this field blank (defaulting to the Canvas URL), it recently came to our attention that some developers were using this field to redirect to Pages with the Page Tab app installed. We will restore the Bookmark URL to the Advanced tab under Canvas Settings for 90 days. This gives you time to edit the field before it will be removed from the Developer App. To give you the most flexibility, we recommend that you delete the Bookmark URL field and instead detect the ref=bookmarks parameter when the user visits your app and take the appropriate action (either redirect to your Page Tab app on a Page or show the user something different).