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Platform Updates

December 2, 2014ByJun Li

We're making multiple platform updates to help developers with their apps. Today we're adding buying, creative, and targeting options to help mobile app developers reach more of the right people in an effective and predictable way. Additionally, in the spirit of always looking for ways to make developers' lives a little bit easier we're announcing two updates that aim to do just that through the implementation of a new token_for_business field and information on the European Union Value Added Tax (EU VAT) changes.

New Features to Accelerate Mobile App Awareness

Amazon Fire Tablet Device Targeting

We're extending our device targeting capabilities to Amazon Fire tablets to help reach even more consumers. Just in time for the holidays, mobile app advertisers can now target their Amazon Appstore apps towards Fire tablet owners similarly to how this is done with other devices types like iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S5. To advertise Amazon Appstore apps on Facebook to Fire tablet users, advertisers need to configure their Amazon Appstore URL in their app on Facebook, and then can create an ad and select the platform. These ads will be targeted to people on Amazon Fire tablets automatically.

Reach and Frequency for Mobile App Ads

We're enabling the ability to buy mobile app ads with a highly predictable reach and frequency. What this means is that now mobile app advertisers can purchase highly predictable unique reach with managed frequency across the lifetime of the campaign. For example, advertisers can set their app ad campaign to reach 5 Million people with a frequency cap of 3 impressions per person for 1 week. Because reach and frequency optimizes first and foremost for unique reach, it is most effective for campaigns with brand awareness objectives, such as an app launch or important app update. For all other times during your ad campaign, you should use oCPM for installs.

Video Updates for Mobile App Ads

With more and more people uploading, sharing and discovering videos on Facebook, marketers are finding video to be an important asset to drive key business metrics. Moving forward, when eligible, video mobile app ads will play automatically in News Feed. Additionally, mobile app advertisers are now able to purchase mobile app ads with video creative through Power Editor.

New Token Makes it Easier to Identify People Across Multiple Apps

In April 2014 we introduced API 2.0 which included a Business Mapping API that gave developers the ability to map users across apps owned by the same business. API 2.2 introduced an even easier way to map users between multiple apps without calling the Mapping API. If the app is associated with a Business Manager, and the user has logged into the app, a token_for_business field will be present on the User object and added to the signed_request passed to Canvas apps. This emits a token which is stable for the same person across multiple apps owned by the same business.

This new token has a few specific characteristics:

  • It's a token, not an ID. As such it cannot be used against the Graph API; developers still need to store and use the app-scoped user ID when calling the Graph API.
  • It will be included in the Canvas signed_request, and also available to be read via the Graph API's User object.
  • It will change if the owning business changes.

As the value of the business token can change (if the owning business changes, for example), it's very important that developers design their user database storage schema using their own internal identifier as a primary key, and not use the business token as a primary key for the user.

In summary, introducing this token doesn't remove the need to store and use the app-scoped user ID specific to the app, but it is an additional convenience wrapper that means developers won’t need to make a second call to the Business Mapping API in order to map the user across apps.

For more details on the token_for_business field and the Business Mapping API, including implementation and code requirements, check out the Mapping the same user across multiple apps developer document.

EU VAT Changes

As you may have heard, the upcoming EU VAT law change is going into effect on January 1, 2015. Facebook will take on the VAT remittance and compliance on behalf of developers for purchases made by consumers in the European Union as required under the new law. We'll also provide the paid VAT amount and user country both in the payments Graph API object and the payments reports. Read here to find out what this means for your app.