Facebook Launches Cross-Application API

Want to grant other applications access to make other API calls from your own apps? Now you can! Last night, Vishu Gupta announced the Facebook Permissions API. The power of the permissions API is that any application can grant another application access to call specific API methods on its behalf. While the feature is currently limited to 3 methods (admin.getAppProperties, admin.getAllocation and admin.getDailyMetrics), new methods will be added soon.

O.k. enough of the geek speak. What does this mean in general terms? It means that applications can potentially ease their workload and provide it to other applications. Want one central application for managing all of your application users within your network? This could eventually be possible. Imagine if you wanted to send general email updates about your application network but not about a specific application in particular. You could theoretically contact every user within your network from one application (once such methods are granted cross-application permission).

Just as users of Facebook have granular privacy settings for other users, applications will now have granular settings for controlling what applications have access to what methods. It’s pretty much the same thing. There are an infinite number of uses once more methods are granted access. Want one application to manage your network’s batch processing? Many of the uses I’ve been able to come up with involve aggregating data across your application network. Are there any others you can come up with?