Platform Update: Facebook Removes Pre-Filled Stream Stories, Like Box Configurator Gets Border Color

The latest Platform Update to the Facebook Developers Blog announced a breaking change to the message parameter for feed dialogs. As of July 12th, stream stories can no longer be pre-filled with content. It also noted the addition of a border color option to the Like Box social plugin configurator.

The update reminded developers about the need for access tokens to view the wall or posts of users and Pages via the Graph API, and the July 1st mandatory migration to Facebook Credits for app payment processing.

Previously, developers could pre-fill the message section of a stream story with content created earlier in the workflow. While this allowed simple publishing of content already created by a user, it was sometimes abused by spammy apps to make it look as if the user had added context to a news feed story that was in fact pre-filled by the application. Unauthorized pre-filled messages such as “This is so funny, you have to check it out” encouraged friends to click on spam and phishing links, giving malicious developers added virality and endangering users.

The abuse by spammers appears to have outweighed the legitimate uses, so Facebook is removing the pre-filled message option for the sake of user security. Facebook will begin ignoring the feed dialog message parameter starting on July 12th. This breaking change may negatively impact some innocent developers who only pre-filled messages with content users authorized for feed publishing. These developers will now have to get users to explicitly enter content into a publishing dialog.

Like Box Border Color

Web publishers now have an additional style option when configuring the Like Box social plugin, which allows websites to collect Likes for a specific Facebook Page. They can add an HTML color code to display a colored border around the Like Box.  This will make it easier to blend the social plugin into websites with color schemes that don’t match Facebook’s blue and white.