Facebook Updates Timing Roadmap on Changes to App Invites and Requests

As a followup to our post a couple days ago, this morning Facebook has posted a few updates to the Developer Roadmap regarding upcoming changes to the ways Platform applications integrate with Facebook’s core “viral” communication channels.

First, Facebook has now given a specific hour for the deprecation of notifications: 10:00 AM US Pacific Time on Monday 1 March. We’re seeing a lot of developers blasting out notifications in one last go before Facebook turns off the channel.

Second, Facebook has pushed back the dates on changes to invitations and requests. Before this morning, Facebook’s roadmap said that changes to the ways users could access invitations and requests would be going live in February. However, now the timing for moving invitations to a new tab in the Inbox has been changed to “March,” and the timing for deprecating other requests has been changed to “Early/mid 2010” (still 30 days after launching changes to the Share dialogs).

Facebook has often pushed back items on the Developer Roadmap since announcing it last fall, usually to give everyone involved more time to prepare. When the company only lists a month, and not a specific day, on the Roadmap, it can imply that the launch timing is softer (we could have been clearer about that in our last post, but we wouldn’t suggest assuming that will be the case in your product roadmaps).

Here’s the latest info from the Developer Wiki on Facebook’s plans for the changes to requests and invitations – and below, a mock of a potential implementation of invites in the Inbox.

Regarding Requests:

Today requests fall into two broad categories: “invite” requests (where a user can encourage their friend to check out an application), and “share” requests (when a user is sharing content within an app that is interesting). We’re going to separate these actions more clearly in the future.

Users will still be able to intentionally share stories into the stream.

To enable users to invite their friends to use an application, you will use invites which will be aggregated in a special filter within the Inbox. We will create a new API for this, which is still in development.

To enable users to share information with each other from within an application, you will use our improved Share dialogs (still in development), which will be sent via the Inbox.

The existing request functionality will be deprecated. Requests sent via the existing request forms will be displayed as invites (not as Inbox messages).

And here’s the Invitations mockup: