Facebook gathered developers at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., for its Facebook Developer Garage, where it discussed new rules for the social-networking site’s platform.
Director of business development Ethan Beard summarized the changes in a post on the Facebook Developers Blog:
Direct and Simplified Communication with Users
Access to user email addresses: To reduce friction and empower application and Facebook Connect developers to manage their relationship with users, for the first time, we’re providing a simple and safe way for users to share their email addresses with you.
Focusing Facebook communication on the stream and Inbox: This consolidates developer and user communication into the two most powerful channels—stream and Inbox—and provides new features to help users stay engaged with applications. User-to-user communications commonly in the notifications and requests channels will be moved to the Inbox.
Improved Application Discovery and Engagement
Simplified navigation: To make it easier for users to quickly find and engage with applications, their favorite apps will be featured on their home page with bookmarks and new dashboards. Applications will also be represented on canvas pages with a format that increases brand association with users. In addition, users will be able to better represent applications on their profile following short-term changes that include focusing profile integration on application tabs, as well as removing profile boxes, the info section of boxes, and the Boxes tab.
Prominent new Dashboards: With default placement on the home page, an all-new Apps Dashboard and Games Dashboard will ensure users can easily find and return to their favorite apps and discover new ones; the Games Dashboard will be a dedicated place for users to interact with games and will provide an additional communication channel, called “News,” where you can personalize text updates for users.
New Counter channel: Re-engaging users is an important part of delivering a high quality experience. We are introducing the Counter, a simple number to the right of your application’s home page bookmark. The Counter is your own channel where you can prompt users when they need to perform an action within your application.
New Developer Products and Clear Policies
Open Graph API: Any page on the Web can have many of the features of a Facebook Page—users can become a Fan of the page, it will show up on that user’s profile and in search results, and that page will be able to publish stories to the stream of its fans.
Improved Application Insights Page and new Analytics API: We will provide improved tools with more robust data to better adjust and manage applications and Facebook Connect-enabled Websites.
New Facebook Connect Libraries: Our libraries will be smaller, clearer, and faster.
New developer Website, Platform Live Status, and public roadmap: Developers.facebook.com will include a central dashboard to view the health of various integration points, bugs and Platform uptime, as well as detail about upcoming changes and improvements to Platform. You will also be able to subscribe to the Developer Blog and Status Feed via email.
New principles, simplified policies, Verification standards for all: We have streamlined our policies and principles and will be proactively applying them widely across Platform. In addition, we’re retiring the formerly optional Application Verification brand, submission process, fees and badge; the program’s higher standards will be required and applications will be subject to review at any time.
Inside Facebook on the removal of notification and request application-program interfaces, the migration to the inbox and the creation of an email API:
This is one of the biggest changes for developers who’ve designed and optimized their applications for Facebook’s current communication channels. Notifications and invitations are going away, and are being split up and migrated into 1) inbox messages for user-to-user communication, and 2) emails for app-to-user communication.