Facebook expands Questions API

Facebook added the option to write structured question posts through the Graph API on Friday.

Applications can now ask Facebook Questions on behalf of users or pages that authorize them to do so. This is particularly useful for page management applications like those from Involver, Buddy Media or Vitrue, which allow admins to write and schedule posts from another platform. Page owners can use these apps to share links or photos, but they have not been able to use them to ask Facebook Questions. With the new write API, developers can now make this an option.

The social network’s Questions product is unique in that it allows users to create polls that other users can add options to. Asking or answering a question generates a story in News Feed. Pages use Questions to promote interaction among fans, but the feature hasn’t caught on among users as Facebook seemed to envision — a company blog post in March 2011 positioned Questions as a way to get recommendations from friends.

The addition of the write API follows the read permissions that Facebook introduced last fall. Questions has not otherwise seen any significant design or functional improvements and is still not supported on mobile devices. When it launched, Questions seemed like it could be a useful plugin for blogs and news sites as a way to get feedback and engagement from readers, but the company has not yet offered this option.

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