Platform Update: JavaScript SDK with OAuth, Place Like Box, Removed Bookmarks Insights

In the latest Platform Update to the Developers Blog, Facebook announced that the new OAuth-ready version of the JavaScript SDK will become available on July 20th.

The blog post also explained how websites can show the wall of a Places page in a Place Like Box, shared details about upgrades to the Comments Box social plugin, and noted that Applications Insights will no longer show data about users adding bookmarks.

In May following some security issues, Facebook announced that by September 1st all apps must use OAuth 2.0 to improve security of user data, specifically User IDs and access tokens. Facebook planned to release updated OAuth 2.0-ready versions of the JavaScript and PHP SDKs on July 1st. However, the PHP SDK was released ahead of schedule, and now the JavaScript SDK has been delayed due to development snags.

Facebook has set the Developer Roadmap release date for the new version of the JavaScript SDK to July 20th, 2011. Once it’s released, developers should have about five weeks to implement OAuth 2.0 and support access token encyrption. The completion of this migration should prevent User IDs and access tokens from being revealed to unauthorized third-parties.

Websites using the Like Box social plugin to offer an easy way for visitors to Like their Facebook Places page can now select to show the Place’s wall rather than a stream of checkins.

By setting the force_wall attribute to true, a Place Like Box will show the Place’s wall. Otherwise, a Place Like Box defaults to show checkins by a viewer’s friends. This will allow websites to show compelling content in the Like Box to users whose friends haven’t checked into the Place before.

Last September, Facebook changed its applications bookmark system such that a user’s bookmarks automatically rise above and fall below the bookmark fold depending on how often an app is used.

Users no longer manually create bookmarks, however, data about how many users created a bookmark to an app still appeared in the Users tab of Application Insights. Facebook has now removed this data from Application Insights to tidy up the interface and reports.

This past week, Facebook officially announced the release of two new features for the Comments Box plugin: Boost Comment, and sort preference. The Platform Update provides some additional details about these features.

The “Social Ranking” sorting preference displays comments “from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads.” Users that aren’t logged in will first see comments boosted by a site’s admin. If they are logged in, they’ll see comments by friends first, followed by boosted comments.

In January, Facebook released a new access control module for applications, allowing developers to add people as administrators, developers, testers, or Insights users of their apps.

The blog post includes a reminder that developers can add people that aren’t their Facebook friends by typing an email address into the inviter. This streamlines the role assignment process and relieves developers from having to add coworkers as friends.