Facebook Updates Bookmarks, Canvas Page Layout, Adds Secure Video Embeds

Facebook’s Thanksgiving weekend platform updates include alphabetical app sorting, a new layout for fixed width apps on the Canvas Page, and secure video embedding support and a tweak to the Dev App requests flow that makes it easier for developers to find apps to which they’ve recently been added.

As detailed on the developers blog, apps that appear in the Canvas Bookmark module are now sorted alphabetically instead of arranged by frequency of visits. This is an improvement for discovery, as thumbnail visual bookmarks above the text bookmarks already displayed the apps a user accessed most often. Now, users will be more likely to see apps they haven’t accessed in a while, perhaps tempting them to revisit what they don’t immediately recognize.

On the Canvas Page itself, Facebook has introduced a layout update for fixed-width apps that centers the app on the Page while keeping the left-aligned Facebook header on top, making these apps visually consistent with Fluid Canvas apps (see example screenshot below). This is especially beneficial to arcade shooter or matching games like Bubble Saga and Bejeweled Blitz where fixed-width is really the only way to view the game properly.

Facebook has also added support for secure video embeds with the og:video:secure_url Open Graph tag that allows HTTPS URLs to be specified when attaching video data to Open Graph objects. Facebook embeds this URL instead of the one specific in og:video, allowing users browsing Facbeook with HTTPS enabled to view the video. Facebook cautions that causing the browser to load an non-HTTPS resources will prevent the embedded video from playing correctly.

Lastly, Facebook announced a tweak to the Dev App requests flow that will make it easier for developers to find apps to which they’ve recently been added. These apps were previously not appearing in the Recently Viewed section of the Dashboard., making them difficult to track down. Now, when accepting requests to be an admin or developer for the app, a link to the Dev App settings for the app will appear — and the apps will also show up in Recently Viewed.

Other updates in this batch include a breaking change for returning photos up to 960px wide (instead of the current max width of 720px).