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API and Other Platform Product Changes

April 4, 2018ByIme Archibong

We launched the Facebook Platform in 2007 as a way of building a more personalized and connected online experience for people. Since that time, we’ve continued to evolve the platform to meet the needs and expectations of people, businesses, and developers, along with the demands of our core commitments to privacy and security. In 2014, we introduced extensive, granular controls that empowered people to decide for themselves what information they shared with their apps. Today, we're continuing that process by announcing a more robust app review process and more data protections for the people who use our products.

Innovation demands iteration; it requires constant change. And, while change is never easy, we believe the immediate platform updates we are announcing today will build stronger connections for people, developers and businesses in the future, while maintaining their privacy and security on Facebook.

New App Review Requirements & Deprecating Legacy APIs

As we begin enhancing our new app review process and make changes to our platform, the Events, Groups, Pages and Instagram APIs will no longer be available to new developers. Testing of our more robust process starts today and the new process should resume in a few weeks, but apps currently accessing Events and Groups APIs will lose access today. Going forward, access to these APIs will require a formal app review and for apps using the Pages API, submission is required within 90 days once app review resumes or access will be removed.

Below are some immediate changes to these APIs.

Events API

  • Endpoints that return data including /feed, /posts, /comments, and the RSVP list.

Groups API

  • User details have been removed from feed, posts, albums, videos and other groups endpoints.
  • Going forward, all apps will require explicit admin authorization.
  • /members and /admins endpoints have been removed.

Pages API

  • Apps cannot start using Page conversation APIs with new Pages.
  • Non-friends no longer appear in the Page plugin.
  • Endpoints including /agencies and /promotable_posts will require an access token associated with the Page.
  • Apps using the Page conversation API must migrate to a new thread_id in the next 90 days.
  • The /checkin_posts endpoint and webhook that shares checkins from a person's timeline.
  • Endpoints that let apps get social context about a song, video, page, or place.

Instagram API Platform


Additional API Changes

Below is a summary of a few other APIs undergoing updates. Specific details are available in the changelog.

Search API

  • Support for finding pages, groups, events, users using search.

Games API

  • Changed Instant Games context.getPlayersAsync() to only include players who have played a game in the specified context (e.g. a Messenger thread or Facebook Group).
  • A number of Games APIs around scores and achievements. We are also removing the invitable friends API for Facebook web games, which allows an app to invite people who haven't played the game before. App requests for existing players of a game will continue to function normally.

App Insights API

  • Support for reading aggregated, anonymized demographic data including age, gender, and country from app_event metrics.

Facebook Login

As part of our efforts to put additional protections in place, we are changing Facebook Login. Last week, we announced that access to a person's list of friends who use the app now requires review. Today, we are going even further and protecting sensitive permissions like photos and likes. This data is powerful, so access to checkins, likes, photos, posts, videos, Events, and Groups, will require prior approval by Facebook.

In addition, the following deprecations are effective immediately and will return empty data as if a person didn't fill in this information on their Profile.

  • Permissions: religion and political views, relationship status, relationship details, custom friend lists, about me, education history, work history, my website URL, book reading activity, fitness activity, music listening activity, video watch activity, news reading activity, games activity.
  • APIs: taggable friends and mutual friends APIs.

In the next week, if someone hasn't used an app in 90 days, the app will be blocked from accessing that person's data until they re-authorize the app. People will also be able to see their active apps in settings, and remove any apps they no longer want to use.

Our Commitment to You

Over the coming months, we'll continue to make improvements to Facebook to keep people’s information safe, secure, and in their control. We never make these platform changes lightly, but at the same time, there's nothing more important to us than privacy and security.

We anticipate that some of the changes we announced today might inconvenience the way some businesses or services operate. That’s why we’ve also created a new escalation process. If your business or service was impacted by these changes and you have an urgent issue in need of resolution, please fill out this form and someone from our team will get in touch with you.

We appreciate your patience and partnership in creating a more secure and meaningful platform for the people and businesses we serve.

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