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Facebook Developer News March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010ByPete Bratach

We're excited to announce a number of new features this week, including ways to retrieve friends, applications, and Pages a user has tagged in a post; to query the stream without the read_stream extended permission; and more.

Querying Tagged Items in Status Posts

Starting after the Wednesday, March 17th push, you can query the stream_tag FQL table to return associations between users or Facebook Pages and the items they tag in status posts. Every field in the table (actor_id, target_id, and post_id) is indexable, and each takes an array, so you can query the table in various ways to determine:

  • All the friends, Pages, events, and other Facebook objects one or more users has tagged in posts.
  • All the posts in which a user has tagged something.
  • All the users who have tagged a given object in a post.

Querying the stream Table for Public Data

The stream FQL table now returns public data (viewable by everyone on Facebook) if you query it without any extended permissions. As before, if the user granted your application the read_stream extended permission, you can access additional data from the user's stream.

Enabling Users to Control Comments Publishing

In order to give users control over whether to publish comments made in a Comments Box back to Facebook, we've added the publish_feed attribute to the fb:comments XFBML tag. IFrame applications must set this attribute to false.

Improving Application Navigation through Search

We've improved the Search box on Facebook to make it even easier for users to navigate to the things they care most about: people, applications, Pages, or any object within the social graph. The Search typeahead now offers these new features:

  • Second-degree connections: The Search box now surfaces friends of friends as well as Pages, applications, or other objects friends are connected to. If a user starts typing in a name of an application that a friend has started using, it's likely to appear at the top of the typeahead results.
  • Popular connections: If an application or Page is popular, it's likely to appear in search results, even if a user is distantly connected to it.
  • Bigger profile thumbnails: Larger profile pictures in the search results make it easier for users to identify what they're looking for.

These changes will make it easier for users to discover and make new connections, as well as navigate back to them later. Applications a user has authorized, whether or not they have been bookmarked, will continue to appear in the typeahead as they do today.

Best Practices for Using the New Communication Channels

To help you most effectively utilize the new Facebook communication channels like the news, activity, and counters in the Dashboard API, and the ability to get a user's primary Facebook email address, we created a guide outlining the new channels and the goals they can help you meet.

Notifications Removed from Insights

In our efforts to simplify application communication channels, we stopped delivering application notifications. Because of this, the Insights tab no longer displays data about notifications.

Stay Informed

Remember to check the Developer Roadmap so you can have advanced notice of what we're releasing for Facebook Platform. We also publish a weekly article that lists each week's code check-ins that impact Facebook Platform.

We hope you start using these features and we welcome your feedback on the Developer Forum.

Pete, a writer on the Facebook Developer Network team, likes spreading the news.