What’s New in Version 2.9 of Facebook’s Graph API?

Places Graph provides free access to the social network’s data on more than 140 million places around the world

Facebook introduced version 2.9 of its Graph API (application-programming interface) at its F8 developers conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday.

Software engineer Steven Elia said in a blog post that Graph API v2.9 contains new features, including:

  • Places Graph, which provides free access to the social network’s data on more than 140 million places around the world.
  • More engagement metrics can be viewed for any URL on the web.
  • New endpoints for Facebook’s cross-posted videos.
  • Updates to Facebook’s subscription-based push service for applications, Webhooks.
  • A new API endpoint enabling brands and developers to more easily connect Facebook users from their apps to their Messenger bots.
  • Support for Read-After-Write API calls.
  • Updates to the Page Insights endpoint.
  • New features enabling developers to take advantage of the Marketing API.

Elia suggested that developers consult Facebook’s changelog and tap its API Upgrade Tool to ensure that the changes to the social network’s Graph API do not impact their apps.

He also announced a Graph API v2.9 question-and-answer session, to be held on Facebook Tuesday, May 2.

Elia provided more details on the changes in Graph API v2.9 in his blog post:

We’re providing free access to over 140 million places around the world, the same data that powers Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. We’ve created Search, Current Place and Place Information endpoints so you can find places relevant to your users and provide helpful information about each location. The Places Graph ties query limits to the size of your customer base and is integrated with the Facebook SDK (software-development kit) so that it’s easy to get started and scale quickly. Visit our product page to learn more.

With this URL Node improvement, we’ve expanded the types of engagement metrics you can view for any URL on the web. These are now split into four distinct counts: Reactions, comments, shares and comments plugin. You’ll be able to see engagement counts for your URLs as they are used across Facebook.

We’re introducing new endpoints for the cross-posted videos feature. A cross-posted video is a video reused in multiple posts without having to share or upload them again. Cross-posting videos can occur within the same page or between pages that have established a cross-posting relationship. The new APIs support identifying and modifying cross-posting relationships between pages and modifying cross-posting permissions for specific videos.

Webhooks is Facebook’s subscription-based push service for apps. We’ve added versioning so developers can opt in to new Webhooks features as they become available. You can specify the version from the Webhooks product tab in the app dashboard, where you can also send sample updates for testing purposes. You can even test updates with a version that’s different than your current subscription to assist in upgrading to future versions. Furthermore, user topic updates can include additional relevant fields to reduce the need to fetch them from the Graph API. Check out our documentation detailing these upgrades.

With a new API endpoint, you can now connect a Facebook customer from your app to your Messenger bot to create better customer experiences across these two channels.

The Graph API now supports Read-After-Write API calls. You no longer have to make a separate call to read an object after writing it. This feature works on any request that creates or updates an object. Simply specify a fields parameter to indicate which fields should be returned in the response, just as you would do on a read request. This works in every version of the Graph API.

We’re updating the Page Insights endpoint. You can now query Page Insights to get aggregated daily minutes viewed for all videos on a page. In addition, page activity such as post comments and shares is now available in Facebook Analytics, allowing you to measure your audience’s interactions with your page alongside their other activity on your website, app and more.

We’re introducing many new features to help developers leverage the power of the Marketing API. We have enhanced features for ads creation and management, dynamic ads and targeting.

More F8 coverage from Adweek.com:

Spotify, Apple Music and Other Branded Bots Are Coming to Facebook Messenger 2.0

Facebook Debuts the Future of Augmented Reality, and It’s on Mobile

Image courtesy of bombuscreative/iStock.

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