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Making Apps a Bigger Part of Timeline

March 13, 2013ByJeff Huang

Today, we're announcing an update to timeline to help people express what's important to them. We're introducing better ways for apps to appear on timeline, improved controls for users, and streamlined tools for setting up Open Graph.

A more organized timeline

Posts and life events now appear on the right side of timeline and the other things people care about appear on the left. We're making content from apps more prominent by giving them sections in the left column of timeline and on the About tab.

People can add things to the new books, music, movies, TV, and fitness sections manually or by choosing to include content from the apps they use. For example, people that enjoy sharing what they’re reading on Goodreads can choose to include books from apps in their books section.

New app sections

People can also add an app as a stand-alone section on their timeline and About page. Each app section is comprised of one or more collections, and developers need to configure the data that appears. You should setup up collections to showcase the things people will want to proudly display on their timelines. For example, Instagram’s section displays a user’s photos and those they like.

To simplify how apps are displayed on timeline, we’re replacing aggregations with app sections. Previously, only top-ranked Open Graph stories and aggregations would appear on timeline. Now, when someone adds an app section, it will appear in the same place until they edit the order or visibility.

As part of this update, we’re giving people more control over which apps they want to show on their timeline. To add your app as a section, people will need to install your app and click the “Add to Profile” button on their app section page. You should encourage your users to add your app by linking to it on web or invoking it on mobile.

New Open Graph tools & documentation

To help you setup app sections, we’ve added a new “Collections” tab. After you create collections, you will need to submit them for review so we can ensure they meet our quality guidelines.

We are making it simpler to get started with the Open Graph by removing the need to configure common actions. They now automatically appear in the “Review Status” section after you publish an action. For developers that can’t use the common actions, we’ve created a more intuitive flow for creating custom actions and previewing how stories will look in News Feed.

We’ve also made a variety of improvements to our Open Graph documentation. We’ve revised the content, added more sample code, and now automatically generate the reference docs from source code.

We are beginning to gradually roll out these new features to users and developers today. As apps become an increasingly important part of people’s identities, we’re excited to create a more organized and consistent way for apps to live on timeline.