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Introducing Graph v9.0 and Marketing API v9.0

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Today, we’re releasing Graph API v9.0 and Marketing API v9.0. Some updates may require developer action, while others are shared to keep you informed. In this update, we’re also sharing upcoming deprecations. Visit the Platform Initiatives Hub to stay informed of other planned improvements.

Developer Action Required

User Data Deletion Requests:

Starting November 10, 2020, Consumer & Gaming app types submitting for App Review, or transitioning from Development Mode to Live Mode, will be required to provide a data deletion request callback, or a URL with explicit instructions for users on how to request their data be deleted. We plan to fully enforce this requirement by November 10, 2022. Apps that have not submitted for App Review or transitioned from Development Mode to Live Mode by this date will receive reminder alerts with additional instructions.

Lead Ads Restriction:

Due to new requirements that Facebook has placed on third-party apps with access to user data applications, certain apps that connect advertisers’ CRM systems with Facebook’s API may lose the ability to retrieve and pass data from Lead Ads campaigns.

If developers upgrade to Graph API v9.0 and want to keep retrieving Lead Ads forms data, they need to complete App Review:

All developers that do not upgrade to Graph v9.0 have until February 9th, 2021 to submit an App Review request for leads_retrieval. After this date, apps still using leads_retrieval with Graph API v8.0 or lower with Standard Access (business apps) or in Development Mode (non-business apps) will receive failed data calls when attempting to retrieve Lead Ads data.

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Recent Policy Updates and Changes

US 2020 Live API:

As of October 22, we’ve updated our policies to better protect people from deceptive or purposely harmful content shared on Facebook Live. Pre-recorded and looping Live videos are now prohibited from both the Live API and Core Live. Broadcasts via the Live API or core Live must not contain looping content (videos, static images, or poll-only videos) and any pre-recorded content must be clearly labeled.

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In addition, Facebook Live broadcasts cannot be used to mislead others that the broadcast is taking place in an inaccurate location—for example, claiming that footage is happening in a particular locale when it is not.

Learn more about Facebook Live Policies.

Crawler Access to Privacy Policies and URLs:

As part of our ongoing efforts to protect people’s privacy on Facebook, we use crawlers to ensure that URLs are live and accessible to people using third party apps. As such URLs must be publicly available. We’re updating our policies to ensure developers allow our crawler to access URLs specified in apps’ settings. This includes any developer-controlled URLs, including the privacy policy URL, connect URL, and other product-specific URLs.

Learn more about the Facebook Crawler.

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Instant Games:

As part of our ongoing efforts to protect people’s privacy and the data they entrust to us when they use third-party apps, we are updating our Developer Policies around Instant Games and the data they request from people (s7.4). The group of policies within s7.4 prohibits the creation of user profiles utilizing data requested via Instant Games. As such, we are publishing an additional policy (s7.4i) that will further prohibit an Instant Game from independently requesting any personal or sensitive data from people in your Instant Game.

Learn more about our Developer Policies.

Bot Policy Change:

In compliance with applicable law, automated chat experiences (example: bots) will be required to inform users that they’re interacting with an automated experience. This update is particularly relevant to bots that serve the German market and German users.

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Learn more about updated Bot Policies.

No Action Required. For Your Information Only

The following announcements do not require action today. They are meant to keep you informed about other changes on our platform.

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Instagram Follower Count Metric Update:

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving the metrics that help partners measure their performance, we are updating the follower_count metric on the Instagram Insights API. As of November 10th, your users may notice a one-time decrease in their follower count shown via API, as it more closely aligns with the follower count shown in the native app. We also make routine product updates to ensure that Instagram is a safe and open community for everyone. As part of these continuous improvements, insights data for the follower_count metric will now only be available for the last 30 days.

Instagram Ads API Improvements:

We are excited to announce several improvements to the Instagram Ads API. Advertisers continue to rely heavily on third-party solutions and desktop tools enabled by the Instagram Ads API to better manage their Instagram advertising strategies and campaigns across distributed teams. We are introducing several technical changes that will now give your users the ability to take existing organic Instagram posts and promote them as ads. We will also begin returning the Instagram Graph API’s user ID on the Instagram Ads API and several other endpoints, offering a more unified developer experience between the Ads and Graph API platforms.

Learn more in the changelog.

Update to Access of POST:Business/business_user, POST:Business/system_user, & POST/<APP_SCOPED_SYSTEM_USER_ID>/access_tokens:

We are removing access to POST /{business-id}/business_users, POST /{business-id}/system_users, and POST/<APP_SCOPED_SYSTEM_USER_ID>/access_tokens for developers who haven’t used these endpoints in the past 90 days. We’re working on changes to these permissions and will share updates soon.

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Version Deprecations:

  • February 8, 2021 – v6.0 of the Marketing API will no longer be available.
  • March 3, 2021 – v7.0 of the Marketing API will no longer be available.
  • May 4th, 2021 – v3.2 of the Graph API will no longer be available.

Facebook Developers

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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