Facebook Announces Platform Policy Changes, Updates to Graph API, SDKs for iOS, Android

By David Cohen 

November5650Facebook announced two changes to its platform policy for developers that will go into effect Nov. 5: Games that include mandatory or optional in-application charges must disclose those charges in their app descriptions, and users must not be offered incentives to use social plugins or like pages.

The social network also announced the release of version 2.1 of its graph application-programming interface, as well as updated iOS and Android software-development kits.

Software engineer Harshdeep Singh announced all the developments in a post on Facebook’s developer blog, saying of the changes to the social network’s platform policies:

Games that include mandatory or optional in-app charges must now disclose this in their app’s description, either on Facebook or other platforms they support. This is to give people a clear indication that your games may charge people during game play.

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Singh wrote on Graph API v2.1:

Version 2.1 incorporates several commonly requested features that build on the changes in v2.0 with the goal of increasing consistency and simplicity for developers. It’s available today to all apps — and is now the default version for all new apps.

  • Pages are able to mention other pages in posts published via the API. If you want to publish mentions of pages other than those managed by your app’s developers, you’ll need to submit for review by Facebook.
  • /friends edge on the user object now provides access to total friend count. This is retroactively supported in v2.0, as well.
  • The root node of v2.1 Graph API responses will always be a JSON object — rather than raw booleans, integers or strings.
  • API v2.1 provides access to the data displayed in the new app insights through a new “app insights” edge on the application object.
  • Field expansion syntax is now more concise.
  • A new URL node makes it easier to access Open Graph and share metadata for that URL.

To upgrade to v2.1, mobile developers should download our latest iOS and Android SDKs. Web developers should declare v2.1 in the version property when calling the init()method of the JavaScript SDK and specify v2.1 in your URLs when calling the graph API.

In line with our two-year stability guarantee, v2.0 will be deprecated Aug. 7, 2016. After that date, all apps will automatically be upgraded to v2.1. As announced at F8 2014, v1.0 will be deprecated April 30, 2015.

With each API version living for at least two years, we’re excited to enhance stability, simplicity and consistency across the graph API. We’ll continue to focus on this in future versions.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.