Facebook announced a new list of updates to its app development platform today, a regular occurrence since the company suspended Cambridge Analytica for using an app to exploit and harvest user data.

Per today’s announcement, apps now must undergo a new review process before getting access to Facebook’s Marketing API, the tool that allows developers to build advertising functionality and automation into their apps. It is also modifying the Marketing API from a three-tier to a two-tier structure to “simplify” it.

The Lead Ads Retrieval and Live Video APIs will also have a review process before app developers are given permission to use the two APIs. (Facebook first announced in April that it was planning to make the Live API available only to approved partners.)

Facebook is also shuttering a number of APIs. Starting today, the Graph API Explorer App that allows developers to run test queries will be deprecated. Ime Archibong, Facebook’s VP of product partnerships, says developers will now have to use their own apps’ access tokens to do test queries.

After already shutting down the Trending API and Trending Topics, Facebook is also deprecating the Topic Search, Topic Insights, Topic Feed and Public Figure APIs on August 1. According to the announcement, these APIs are being shut down because of low usage, along with the Profile Expression Kit — a tool that allowed developers the ability to let people share photos and videos created in their apps as Facebook profile pictures.

“We’re deprecating this tool on October 1 due to low adoption,” writes Archibong regarding the Profile Expression Kit.

The Media Solutions APIs — a family of APIs used by developers building apps for Facebook’s media partners — are also getting new limitations around accessible content. From now on, public content discovery APIs will be limited to Page content and public posts from certain verified profiles.

One small tweak that works to developers’ advantage is Facebook bringing back the ability for developers to search across Facebook Pages via the Pages API — a feature that was removed while Facebook audited its app review process.

“This will enable [developers] to more easily find similar Pages in a Facebook ad for co-branding purposes,” writes Archibong.

The difference now is that developers must receive permission to “Page Public Content Access” — something that can only be granted through the app review process — before getting access to the search capabilities within the Pages API.

These latest updates follow a series of modifications Facebook has made to its app development platform after news broke that Cambridge Analytica had exploited user data via an app all the way back in 2015. Facebook halted the addition of any new apps to the platform at first but has since reopened the app review process with stricter limitations to the amount of data apps now have access to. Facebook also launched a tool to let users delete apps in bulk from their profile settings.

In May, Facebook says its audit and investigations into over 1,000 apps on the platform resulted in 200 more being suspended.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.


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