Facebook Announced Several Changes to Its Platform for Developers

Some APIs require new app review permissions, while others were scrapped due to poor usage

The goal is to protect user data and phase out poorly used APIs and tools bombuscreative/iStock

Facebook announced a host of changes to the various application-programming interfaces on its platform with the aim of protecting user data and phasing out poorly used APIs and tools.

Vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong detailed all of the changes in a Newsroom post Monday.

Facebook’s Graph API Explorer App is being depreciated Monday, meaning that developers can no longer use it to run test queries on Graph API Explorer, and they must instead do so via the access tokens on their own applications.

The social network introduced its Profile Expression Kit at its F8 developers’ conference in April 2016 and made it available to IOS and Android developers globally in September of that year, enabling developers to share photos and videos created in their apps as profile pictures and videos on Facebook.

However, Archibong said the tool is being depreciated Oct. 1 due to low adoption.

Similar changes were made to the Facebook Media Solutions set of APIs for media partners.

Archibong said that going forward, public content discovery APIs will be limited to page content and public posts from certain verified profiles.

The Trending API, which was introduced at F8 in 2014, was recently depreciated, along with the Signal discovery and curation tool for journalists that debuted in September 2015, the social network’s Trending module and hashtag voting for interactive TV experiences.

On Aug. 1, the Topic Search, Topic Insights, Topic Feed and Public Figures APIs will be depreciated, also due to low usage.

Developers can now search Facebook pages via the Pages API again, but they will need feature permissions for Page Public Content Access, which can only be obtained via the social network’s app review process.

Those that receive approval will be able to find similar pages, @ mention other pages in comments and posts and tag pages in ads for co-branding purposes.

Finally, Archibong said Facebook is introducing new app review permissions for its Marketing API, Lead Ads Retrieval and live video APIs.

He wrote, “These changes will continue to enable developers to create social experiences, while protecting people’s information. We will keep you updated on additional changes we make.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.