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Moving to the City

July 1, 2009ByAlex Himel

As Facebook has grown internationally into a worldwide network, we've come to realize that organizing our users into geographic networks isn't as useful as knowing where a user is currently located. This is especially true from an international perspective, where a region would represent a whole country. To this end, we're shifting our focus to the city where the user currently lives, as this provides more relevant information for friends to share with each other.

Recently we started deprecating regional networks from the user profile. We expect the process to finish within the month. Corporate and educational networks will continue to appear on the user’s profile. For users who haven't specified a current location, we'll populate that field with what was formally their regional network.

What Does This Mean for My Applications?

At this time, nothing will change -- we'll continue to return regional network information for the next 3 months (until September 30, 2009), even though this information will no longer appear on users' profiles starting this week. Moving forward, when you need a user's location information for your application, use the current_location field instead of affiliations.

For calls to users.getStandardInfo and queries on the standard_user_info FQL table, we'll now return current_location for location information. We'll still return affiliations as well, but after 90 days, we'll return only corporate and educational networks for affiliations.

Similarly, after 90 days, for calls to users.getInfo or queries on the user FQL table, we won't return regional networks for affiliations; we will still return corporate and educational networks though.

Note that the user’s current location isn’t used for privacy purposes. You can read more about the user changes on the Facebook company blog.

We'll announce ahead of time when we finally deprecate regional networks from the code and stop sending that data to your applications. As always, we welcome your comments on the Developer Forum.