Platform Update: Change Log, Third-Party Unique IDs, Deprecations

Facebook’s weekly Developers Blog Platform Update includes information about a new Platform change log, implementation of the third-party ID mechanism, and deprecations of some APIs and FBML tags at the end of the year.

Platform Change Log

Since Facebook pushes new code every Tuesday night, it can be difficult for developers to stay up to date on changes. To make it easier for for devs to integrate the latest features and keep their apps functioning, Facebook will now file Platform changes in the new change log in addition to announcing them on the Developers Blog. Changes go live on beta.facebook.com on Sunday night, giving devs two days to test their apps before the changes are rolled out to the public.

Third-Party Unique Identifier Mechanism Roll Out

In the aftermath of the user ID sharing issue, Facebook developed a mechanism to allow applications and acceptable partners to verify the identity of users without sharing their user IDs. Developers can assign users a unique third-party identifier via the Graph API or FQL. All applications must begin using this system by January 1st, 2011.

API and FMBL Tag Deprecations

Facebook will begin returning an error or cease to recognize many “old and infrequently used FBML tags and API methods” starting January 1st, 2011. Developers should check the full deprecations list to see if their apps will be affected.

While it was previously announced that pages.blockFan would be deprecated, Facebook has responded to developer feedback about the need for a method to prevent unruly users from spoiling the experience of others. The call has been removed from the deprecation list and will continue to be supported.