Facebook Platform Email API Going Live Today; Notifications API Going Away in 30 Days

As we detailed last week, the new Facebook Email API for Platform and Connect application developers is going live today. In essence, this communication channel is intended to replace the Notifications channel, which will be deprecated in “approximately 30 days” (around February 19th) as the primary application-to-user communication channel on the Facebook Platform.

For more details on exactly how the integration works, see our previous post. Developers have the option to either require users to share their email address to engage with the app, or make it optional – once users have shared their email with developers, they can keep and use it forever.

Facebook is encouraging developers to use the email API in essentially the same ways they have been using notifications: for retention. “We recommend you use email to send them interesting and relevant information, like receipts for purchases they make, messages to help reactivate them if they haven’t visited your application or integration in a while, or newsletters promoting new features or contests.”

In order to promote the new API, Facebook is going to be putting a message on top of every application canvas page for the next month. In addition, Facebook is going to give users the option to deliver a Facebook-proxied email address to developers (i.e. something like “abc123@proxy.facebook.com”) in order to still get developer emails without divulging their personal email accounts, and to maintain quality control.

Of course, the bigger question for developers here is what impact the removal of the notifications channel will have, and to what extent email can replace notifications. The vast majority of developers have been using the notifications channel very aggressively to date, leading to user experience problems for Facebook and decreasing conversion rates in general.

Now that Facebook has officially launched the email sharing API, the clock is ticking on Notifications.