Policy Roadmap: Facebook’s New Popup Feed Form Rule Now in Effect

Last week, several new policy changes went into effect on the Facebook Platform. This week, another important new policy regarding the way developers can use Facebook’s News Feed “feed forms” has gone live: now, feed forms cannot be popped up without “explicit user intent.”

This means that developers can no longer show popup boxes prompting users to publish content to their profile (and thus their friends’ News Feeds) without users explicitly choosing to do so. Until now, many of the largest apps have grown by frequently and aggressively prompting users to publish content into the stream.

As a result, apps that heavily relied on the News Feed for distribution and reengagement could see significant traffic decreases over the coming weeks- some have already been pulling back on this lately. Already, many social games are off their December traffic highs, but it’s too early to tell if this is due to policy changes or the seasonality of the holidays. We’ll be keeping close watch on AppData.

For now, here’s the current state of the Developer Roadmap – however, at this point, it’s looking like either the next week is going to be a very busy one, or perhaps more likely that some of the items slated for “December 2009” are going to slip into 2010.

Already Launched

1. Simplified policies posted, verification program ended, and “extending verification standards to all applications”
2. Platform Live Status tool launching, which will show “updates on platform stability and load”
3. Stream story formatting changes (1 image shown by default, few lines of text, 1 action link)
4. New “add bookmark” button
5. All stream publishing APIs beside Stream.publish, Facebook.streamPublish, and FB.Connect.streamPublish will no longer be supported (going into effect December 20)
6. Feed forms cannot be popped open without “explicit user intent” (note: this is a new Facebook policy) (going into effect December 20)

Coming December 2009

7. New email permission API (developers can ask users to share their email address)
8. Access point to invites will be moved “to either a filter in Inbox or surfaced in the Application and Games Dashboards”
9. User-to-user Inbox APIs will be launched
10. Application bookmarks moving from the bottom menu bar to the left side of the home page
11. Counter API launching (counts can appear on home page application bookmarks)
12. Applications and Games dashboards launching
13. New application branding on canvas pages launching
14. Revamped developer site launching

Late December 2009 / Early January 2010

15. Notifications API (both app-to-user and user-to-user) will be removed (note: Facebook says this will happen “30 days after email permission is available”) (this was originally scheduled for “December 2009″)

Late 2009 / Early 2010

16. Requests API will be removed (note: Facebook says this will happen “30 days after launching new Inbox sharing”)
17. Profile boxes will be removed (application tabs will be the only way to integrate into the profile page at that point)
18. Improved analytics and APIs launching

Early 2010

19. Open Graph API launching