Facebook Updates Platform Guidelines Policy Docs

facebook platform developersFacebook has updated its Platform Guidelines policy documents since adopting the new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that govern the site at the beginning of the month. The updated guidelines, which go into effect May 12, aren’t substantially different from the old policy documents, but are better organized and slightly more concise.

“The new Guidelines document has almost the same content as the previous version of the policies,” Facebook’s Paul Jeffries said. The few changes we made were primarily to accommodate product changes, eliminate redundancy, and clarify ambiguities. For example, we clarified that user data you get from the API is always subject to the restrictions on storage (so you shouldn’t pre-fill data in a form for users to submit to your application if you plan to store that data; users should enter that information directly). But the caching restrictions have been modified to allow for retaining user data you get from Facebook beyond 24 hours in certain offline situations. And we more clearly explained the policy around use of Facebook’s product terms and trademarks.”

Here’s the new part pertaining to data caching rules for applications that may go offline, like desktop or mobile apps:

Offline exception: Applications that run on a device controlled by and possessed by the user — such as desktop or laptop computer, mobile device, or other embedded device — can cache user data received from Facebook for more than 24 hours only when Internet connectivity is unavailable or it is impossible for the application to run. Such data can be stored on the client device but not a remote server, and cannot be made available to the developer. Cached data older than 24 hours can be displayed to the user (or otherwise used by the application) in lieu of updated data only until an update is possible, and in no case beyond 14 days after the last update.

The updated Platform guidelines are available in 9 parts, linked below for your evening reading pleasure:

I. Platform Policy Overview
II. Additional Policies Governing All Applications and Developers
III. Additional Policies Governing Application Integration On Facebook.com
IV. Additional Policies Governing Facebook Connect
V. Escalation Procedures for Facebook Policy Issues
VI. Contacting Facebook
VII. Copyright Policy
VIII. Developer PR Policy
IX. Branding and Promotion Policy