A Summary Of Today's Big Facebook Platform Changes

Today Facebook is making a number of announcements about changes to the platform at Facebook. We’ll be covering all of the changes as reported via today’s live stream. If you’re wondering why we aren’t covering the event from Facebook HQ, it’s because we’re based out of D.C.! If you’d like to sponsor AllFacebook with a San Francisco apartment however, we can give you a big ad!

[3:35 PT] Facebook says that they’ll be starting in five minutes.

[3:37 PT] Looks like Dave Morin, Mark Zuckerberg, Cheryl Sandberg and the other executives are in attendance. Assuming they’ll be present to answer questions as well.

[3:38 PT] Presentation is starting. Mark Zuckerberg is starting things off now.

[3:39 PT] Mark Zuckerberg is thanking people for coming out to the first platform roadmap developer garage. He’s now introducing some of the other team members. He has also mentioned how Facebook will become more dependent on their public APIs by eating their own dog food. Mark’s continuing to go over other people on the team and how building a roadmap is a huge step forward from before.

[3:44 PT] Ethan is now talking about the upcoming changes. There are now over 1 million developers on the platform and over 350,000 applications and “tens of thousands” of Facebook Connect websites. Ethan also says that “the death of the platform is greatly exaggerated,” ultimately referencing our past post. Today they are focused on reducing anxiety.

[3:46 PT] Today by providing a roadmap it will generate more predictability for developers so they don’t need to make changes on the fly. He’s highlighting how developer roadmaps are moving further out into the future.

[3:47 PT] 3 Things as part of today’s roadmap: communications channels, discovery and engagement, and new products. This is a six month roadmap which include mockups of how things will be adjusted in the coming weeks and months. This is not a product launch announcement, just products we’ll be launching in the future.

[3:49 PT] For Communications channels, he’s discussing what’s changing. Right now there are a lot of communication channels for users and this is very confusing and we’d like to address it. From the perspective of developers, it’s requests, notifications, proxied email, inbox, and stream. New developers find the 5 channels more challenging.

[3:50 PT] Ethan is now highlighting the issue of too many notifications and the channels are not effective. We believe the stream is best for “one-to-many” broadcasts. The other type of messaging is “user-to-user” communication which takes place through requests, invites, and other channels. They’d like to reduce that down to the inbox. Messages can still have attachments as they could before.

[3:53 PT] Ethan is addressing those messages that use the multi-friend selector. These are also user-to-user messages that will go in the inbox, and we’re currently determining where in the inbox those will go. We’re also working on ways to sort the multi-friend-selector so that they are more relevant rather than just sorting it in alphabetical order.

I was just sent an update and the developer roadmap is available in the wiki here.

[3:55 PT] Facebook is going to make user email addresses available to developers. This is a HUGE update from Facebook.

[3:57 PT] Next up is discovery and engagement. There is going to be new navigation which shows up at the top left of the homepage including links to applications with counters which highlight how many actions or activities they need to take within that application. There will also be an FBML bookmark icon which lets users add them to the dashboard right away.

[4:00 PT] The games dashboard is a space for all of a user’s games activity on Facebook. There will also be an applications dashboard. One thing users don’t understand is that the canvas page belongs to you (assuming he means the developer). We’d like to downplay the fact that this is a Facebook Page and we’ll be removing the majority of links from the header on these pages.