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Changes to Feed API Methods: Multiple Templates per Story Size

June 20, 2008ByJerry Cain

We’re changing the Feed API method set, which we feel will lead to better Mini-Feed stories while simultaneously offering many opportunities for the aggregation of stories for News Feed.

As you already know, the most significant change to the publishing model is that we’re separating template bundle registration and Feed story publication. You register your template bundles ahead of time, get an ID for each bundle, and then publish Feed stories with those template bundle IDs later. This is replacing feed.publishTemplatizedAction method. By now, you've had a chance to experiment with the new API methods and gained a sense as to how your applications can make use of the new methods to publish Feed stories to the user's Mini-Feed.

Up until now, we've limited template bundles to include just one of each template type (one line, short and full). Now we're extending the definition of a template bundle to increase the likelihood that all of your stories appear in a user’s friends’ News Feeds as well as that user’s Mini-Feed. When calling feed.registerTemplateBundle, you can now supply an array of one line templates, an array of short story templates, and a single full story template. We're encouraging you to include multiple templates for one line and short stories in each bundle. The full details of the changes are outlined on the Developer Wiki.

At the moment, feed.registerTemplateBundle supports both the old style and new style registration models. However, soon we'll deprecate the old style registration models and require one line and short story templates to be expressed in array form. You'll also note that the data returned by feed.getRegisteredTemplateBundles and feed.getRegisteredTemplateBundleById have changed in structure ever so slightly, advertising the fact that template bundles now include an array of one line and short story templates. From the developer's point of view, feed.publishUserAction works exactly the same way.

We feel these new aggregation opportunities will be good for all developers—from those of you working on applications that have hundreds of thousands or even millions of users already, to those just getting started or have only a handful of users. In particular, the least flexible one line and short story templates can be made generic enough so that even small applications are likely to get an application story into someone's News Feed. Applications enjoying a larger user base might even see aggregation using the most flexible template. In fact, we hope that larger applications will forgo the temptation to include very generic templates, knowing they'll see plenty of aggregation opportunities against the more user-specific ones.

Contacting Us

We always want to hear from you about the new design and your experiences trying it out. Please report any bugs you see in the new design. Make sure you use the New Profile category. You can help us solve your issue faster by adding one of the following components to your report: Feed, Info Sections, Profile Boxes, Publisher, and Tabs.

You can send us your feedback and ask questions in the New Profile and Related Changes section of the Developer Forum.