API Updates Provide Developers with Improved App Permissions and Campaign Controls
New Requirements Outlined for Mobile Developers and Facebook App Review
Today, we’re releasing Graph API v7.0 and Marketing API v7.0, along with v7.0 of the Mobile and Business SDKs. Together, these releases capture several timely updates, including new fields developers can use for the Instagram Hashtag Search API and Special Ad Categories and new permissions for page-related data. Additionally, we’re noting some important new requirements for mobile developers.
Lastly, we do have some API deprecations planned, however, we reduced the number in order to help minimize disruptions for our developer community during this challenging time. We have a lot of exciting updates to share with you, let’s dig in:
New Fields for Instagram Hashtag Search API & Special Ad Categories
We’re adding a timestamp field to the Instagram Hashtag Search API which will allow developers to get the creation time for any post accessible via this API. You can learn more about how to access this field in our v7.0 changelog.
We’re also making a minor, but important change to the special_ad_category field — we’re renaming it to special_ad_categories (note the change from singular to plural). Developers can specify a single special ad category (i.e., housing, employment, credit, or none) at the campaign-level. If your campaign does not need a special ad category, you can simply pass in an empty array, or [NONE] as the value.
New Permissions for Apps to Read/Write Page Data
We’re announcing six new permissions to replace manage_pages and publish_pages, all of which are outlined in our v7.0 changelog. Taken together, these new permissions will provide developers with more access and better control over page-related data. Availability of these new permissions will be released on a rolling basis, starting today through June 1, 2020.
Developers that already have access to manage_pages and publish_pages will be automatically migrated to the relevant, new permissions by June 1, 2020, and access will remain undisrupted.
Developers with no existing access to manage_pages or publish_pages should actively monitor their app dashboard for the new permissions as they begin rolling out today. By June 1, 2020, all developers will see the new permissions and are encouraged to apply. After this date, applications for manage_pages and publish_pages will be unavailable and no longer reviewed.
Finally, developers who have recently applied for access to manage_pages and publish_pages will continue to be reviewed, and if approved, will be automatically migrated to the relevant, new permissions.
New Deadlines & Requirements for Mobile Developers
If you’re an iOS developer, it’s important to point out Apple’s recent announcement, which states apps for iPhone or iPad must be built with the iOS 13 SDK or later and use Xcode 11 or later. The deadline for adhering to these new iOS requirements is June 30, 2020.
And if you’re an Android developer, note that Android SDK will now be using the Android X libraries. All apps leveraging the Facebook SDK v7.0 must migrate to Android X for continued use.
Important API Deprecations
As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy and security, we are removing access to a number of APIs. However, as a means of minimizing disruption for our developers in the current COVID-19 climate, we significantly reduced the number of APIs we are removing access to.
A list of endpoints that will be removed from the platform are listed in the v7.0 changelog, within their product or node sections. You should review this list to see if your app is impacted.
Also, please be aware of the upcoming version deprecations:
- 7/26/2020 – Graph API v3.0 will no longer be available.
As always, if you have specific questions or concerns, there’s Facebook Developer Support. And if you haven’t already, please consider joining the Facebook Developer Community — it’s a tremendously helpful resource for communicating and connecting with Facebook developers all over the world.
Organizations providing support amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
We’ve always appreciated the open conversations we’re able to have with so many of the partners, developers and entrepreneurs who build on our platform and take part in our programs every day.
Over recent months though, we’ve felt an even deeper gratitude for the honest stories and experiences our community has been willing to share regarding the challenges they’re dealing with as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
As families face new pressures, careers take unexpected turns, and businesses are forced to pivot, lately it can feel like each day brings a new wave of change.
Amidst this uncertainty, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on some of the organizations, resources and initiatives that people in our community have said they’re finding valuable right now, in case they help open up some opportunities for you too.
Corona What Now
Corona What Now is a collection of free resources that have the potential to help you, your family, and your small business recover from the impact of COVID-19.
With a global directory across countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Oceania, Russia, Turkey, the UK and USA – it’s a valuable starting point for tapping into a range of support in your region.
Help with COVID
Help with COVID is a US-based initiative supported by social impact platform Deed and its nonprofit arm, the HelpWith Foundation, aimed at providing resources and opportunities, while also recruiting volunteer support. Over the past four months, they have mobilized over 15,000 volunteers across 750 projects.
Help with COVID provides a valuable and growing set of resources, including recorded panel discussions with high-profile presenters across a range of subjects, such as:
- How individuals can optimize their CVs
- How businesses can understand their audiences and build a sales strategy
- How startups can apply ‘lean thinking’ during a crisis
Additionally, their team has aggregated a range of links to funding, accelerator, voluntary and entrepreneurial resources connected to the COVID-19 response.
US Digital Response
If you’re looking for ways to contribute your own time and expertise as a volunteer for a range of efforts aimed at tackling COVID-19 in the USA, we suggest checking out US Digital Response (USDR).
The USDR team is focused on providing a rapid, effective response to issues related to COVID-19, through a volunteer-run, non-partisan service offering free access to skilled expertise for local governments that need support. In just over three months, they’ve taken on 100+ projects with partners in 24 states, including in COVID data insights, testing access, food security, benefits and the social safety net.
When you register as a volunteer, you’ll be joining a growing team of more than 5,000 qualified professionals – experienced in user research and design, back-end engineering, product management, data science, and more.
Other Facebook initiatives
If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding other initiatives that might benefit our broader community, please do share them in the comments over on our Facebook Page. In addition to the above opportunities, we also welcome you to take a look at some of our recently shared resources for startups.
From all of the team here at Facebook for Developers, we look forward to sharing more resources and initiatives over the coming weeks and months, and hope that you all stay safe.
Now Resolved: FB iOS SDK Outage Causing Disruption to 3rd Party iOS Apps (July 09-10, 2020)
Last week we made a server-side code change that triggered crashes for some iOS apps using the Facebook SDK. We quickly resolved the issue without requiring action from developers.
This is the second similar incident this year. We want to apologize for the inconvenience these events have had on our developers and their users. Stability and reliability are critically important for the people and businesses who use our services. While we can’t guarantee a bug-free experience, we have learned from these events and continue to improve the stability of our SDK.
As best practice, we suggest developers regularly update the Facebook SDK and encourage users to update to the latest version of your app. This helps integrate the latest Facebook SDK stability and performance enhancements. You can find the latest information about Facebook platform issues on our platform status page.
Simplifying Our Platform Terms and Developer Policies
Over the last several years, we’ve changed how we handle data and how we hold our partners accountable for accessing and managing data. We’ve restricted access to APIs, enhanced app review, launched an app developer investigation and most recently, formalized our agreement with the FTC. To ensure developers have the tools and information they need to continue to use our platform responsibly, we’re making improvements in three areas:
- Providing developers with clearer guidance around data usage and sharing.
- Building new tools and controls to hold developers accountable such as the annual Data Use Checkup process in which developers can review the types of data they have access to via Facebook Platform APIs and confirm that their use of that data complies with our terms and policies.
- Improving the developer experience by customizing the onboarding and App Review processes to better support different types of developers and updating the App Dashboard to make it easier to see all required actions.
As part of our work in the first area, today, we’re introducing new Platform Terms and Developer Policies to ensure businesses and developers clearly understand their responsibility to safeguard data and respect people’s privacy when using our platform and tools.
The new Platform Terms and Developer Policies will simplify and replace the existing Facebook Platform Policy (including Messenger Platform), Instagram Platform Policy, Supplemental Terms for Extended Platform Products, and Tech Provider Amendment.
Platform Terms: The Platform Terms have been updated to focus on data use restrictions, data security requirements, enforcement provisions, and legal terms and warranties, like intellectual property (IP) rights. This will help better outline developers’ rights and responsibilities when building products and solutions on the Facebook Platform:
- Use and Sharing of Platform Data: The updated Platform Terms define a two-tiered structure for data that developers receive from our platform with clear guidance on how developers may use and share each tier of data. This new distinction between Platform Data and Restricted Platform Data limits the information developers can share with third parties without explicit consent from users and strengthens our protection of user data.
- Data Deletion: We are also clarifying the policy’s requirements around data deletion. Developers are required to delete data if the data is no longer needed for a legitimate business purpose, the developer stops operating the product or service, we request the deletion, or the data was received by the developer in error.
- Enforcement & Oversight: The updated terms strengthen our provisions on data security requirements for developers and require them to notify us of data breaches, immediately begin remediation of the incident, and reasonably cooperate with us. They also clarify our provisions on auditing, termination, and enforcement.
Developer Policies: We’ve separated integrity, quality control, user experience, content, aesthetic, and functional requirements into a single document called Developer Policies.
We’ll notify developers of these changes via email, in the app dashboard and on developers.facebook.com and in the Instagram Help Center. Developers should review these terms and policies to ensure their practices comply with the updated requirements before they go into effect August 31, 2020. However, there’s no action required in order to agree to the new terms and policies.
We’re also updating our Business Terms, including our Business Tools Terms, which may cover data involved with certain usages of the Facebook SDK, Facebook Login, and social plugins. We are also making a few changes to our Commercial Terms to make these clearer and easier to understand. You can learn more about the changes we’re making here.
Page Public Content Access (PPCA) Feature Policy Enforcement
As another measure to clarify data usage guidance, we are also reminding developers that our developer documentation states that PPCA can only be used to provide aggregated, anonymized public content for competitive analysis and benchmarking. Later this year, we’ll start enforcing this policy more broadly across developers with PPCA access. Developers with PPCA access should ensure that they are only using the feature for this purpose, and may be required to go through App Review in the coming months to retain access.
We believe people, businesses and developers deserve a safe and secure platform, and these changes will help strengthen trust with people who use our apps and drive long-term value for developers who use our platform. Learn more on the new Platform Initiatives Hub.