Facebook yesterday gathered together its biggest application developers and held a Developer Garage at its Palo Alto offices to reveal new changes for its Facebook Platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on hand, but he let Bret Taylor, formerly from FriendFeed and now Platform’s director of product management, introduce the upcoming changes.
We’ve got the full list of changes here, but there are three important changes Facebook developers must absolutely be aware of. They are:
Open Graph API
This is a new product that lets websites outside the Facebook walled garden access to Facebook users’ friends lists, messages, and activity logs. Imagine a new Web where sites will let users send and receive emails in their Facebook Inbox or one in which your Twitter friends lists mingle with your Facebook’s friend lists. Depending on how much access Facebook grants, developers can build impressive new features on top, for, and next to Facebook and it’s 300 million active users.
New communication channels and visualisation between Apps and users
Facebook has always been in a delicate position of balancing the simplicity of its homepage with more powerful visual cues for users. It’s tricky since dramatic changes usually result in angry mobs and PR fiascos. Still, with its latest update, Facebook took the plunge and added the following:
- Facebook applications can now ask for and store users’ primary emails to communicate.
- Users can now contact other users inside Facebook applications.
- There’s now a Games dashboard.
- Applications will now have counters to engage users
- Stories from applications will be rendered as part of the Facebook news streams
No more submission fees and badging
Facebook charges developers $375 to submit “verified” applications for the platform. Benefits included coveted special badges and prioritised ranking amongst Facebook’s thousands of applications.
That’s ending. Facebook will now stop the verification program and even give back prorated refunds to developers that applied for verification. Instead, Facebook will now require all applications to adhere to Facebook’s trustworthy and high user experience standards and principles.