Facebook Updates Platform APIs to Encourage More Event Management Apps

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Last fall, Facebook created a basic Events API that allowed users to create and manage events from within the application, as well as to RSVP to any events created within that app. However, the API didn’t include some important functionality needed for full event management: namely, being able to send invitations from the app. Today, however, Facebook released a few updates to the API that should make events more usable by developers.

Here’s a summary of the updates:

  • There is now a new events.invite API, through which users can invite friends to an event in the app. (However, the user must have admin rights for the event, and your app must have been granted the create_event extended permission.)
  • Facebook has removed the requirement that your app must have created the event in order for users to RSVP to it in your app. Any app can now ask for extended permissions so users can see and RSVP to their events.
  • The event_type and location fields are no longer required and may sometimes be empty, and the host field has been merged into the creator field and is no longer required.

Ultimately, the new features should allow apps to do more fully featured event-management. Facebook itself is simplifying its events interface, so there may be some opportunities for developers to create applications that provide a better user experience around creating and inviting friends to events.