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Reflecting on a year of innovation with our developer and creator ecosystem

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As a team committed to enabling growth and innovation, we feel so honored to create opportunities that drive value for global developers and creators – and the projects, businesses and ideas that matter to them.

By curating events like hackathons and developer jams, as well as providing access to technical resources and our product teams, we’re able to connect innovators with experiences that strengthen their expertise, supercharge their solutions, and offer some great perks and prizes as well.

Harry Banda’s ‘Rabbit Coder’ hackathon submission, built with Spark AR

After running a series of in-person hackathons at the end of last year, we kicked off 2020 with our first-ever Facebook Online Hackathon in February – where we welcomed participants to submit entries across PyTorch, Messenger and Spark AR. We were struck by the potential of so many of the submissions – including a winning entry by Harry Banda of Zambia who used the power of Spark AR to gamify a learn-to-code experience called Rabbit Coder.

Harry, who has competed in all of our hackathons this year, said, “I’ve learned how to create mobile and web applications with React Native, boost my Messenger experiences with artificial intelligence components from Wit.ai, and implement complex gamification using Spark AR. The balance of competition and collaboration within the hackathons motivates me to become a better innovator.”

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Gina Choi’s ‘Notes for Heroes’ project from the #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon

When the pandemic triggered widespread lockdowns around the world in March, we put our heads and hearts together with peers from the tech industry, as well as health and science partners including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, to support the #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon. This virtual event brought together nearly 19,000 innovators to address a broad set of challenges related to the pandemic.

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There were so many important and impactful solutions that came out of the hackathon, but one that continues to move us is high school student Gina Choi’s project, Notes for Support – an online platform for sending notes of gratitude to frontline healthcare workers, and well-wishes to COVID-19 patients. Gina’s web application has so far powered over 11,500 notes to more than 160 hospitals. She even received support from major organizations including the San Francisco 49ers football team, who promoted the service via their Instagram and Facebook channels. You can check out more details on Gina’s solution on this highlighted projects website created by our friends at Hack Club, a student-led coding organization.

Dimas Nashiruddin Al Faruq’s ‘HayLingo!’ hackathon submission, built with Messenger – now a startup!

In May, we continued with our second Facebook Online Hackathon, providing opportunities for developers to build with Messenger, Spark AR and – for the first time – our artificial intelligence product, Wit.ai. The momentum continued with some truly groundbreaking solutions including Indonesia-based Dimas Nashiruddin Al Faruq’s project, HayLingo! – an immersive language learning companion built on Messenger.

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“We set out to create a valuable education experience that was both conversational and intuitive. We leveraged Messenger features including Quick Reply, as well as Wit.ai’s natural language processing capabilities, to create a virtual classroom designed to entertain and challenge students. The access to expert resources and documentation provided throughout the hackathon really helped us polish the final solution – so much so, that I’ve now taken the next step and launched HayLingo! as a startup!” – Dimas Nashiruddin Al Faruq

Javier Campos’ ‘Fitness Voice’ hackathon submission, built with Wit.ai

Our third and final hackathon of the year kicked off at the end of July, with a continued focus on supporting builders who are passionate about Messenger, Spark AR and Wit.ai. The hackathon coincided with the launch of Instagram Reels, prompting a range of entertaining and imaginative Spark AR submissions, but we also saw some brilliant Wit.ai solutions too – like Spanish developer Javier Campos’ project, Fitness Voice. Fitness Voice is an AI voice-controlled ‘personal trainer’ for web browsers, leveraging Wit.ai’s natural language processing capabilities, as well as body pose recognition and a strong focus on user privacy.

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“I believe that artificial intelligence and natural language processing have the power to revolutionize so many of our day-to-day activities for the better. I created Fitness Voice for people who might not feel safe or healthy working out in public right now. During the hackathon, I was able to join Q&A live streams with Wit.ai product experts, and tap into the buzzing Facebook hackathon community to test out ideas.” – Javier Campos

A product team session from this year’s Wit.ai Developer Jam

Javier was also a participant in October’s Wit.ai Developer Jam. This week-long, online event brought together leading Wit.ai developers in late October with the goal of immersing them in AI technology, and providing support as they created solutions for a Design Challenge.

Another participant, US-based AI developer Yu Sun, said, “The troubleshooting advice I received helped me take my solution to the next level and equipped me with a bunch of learnings to apply. Having this direct forum with the Wit.ai team connected me with insights across custom models and built-in entities specifically, which were crucial for my project goals.”

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You can learn more about the Jam in the Wit.ai team’s blog here.

Hsing Huang’s Spark AR tutorial from this year’s Developer Circles Community Challenge

Rounding out our final opportunity of 2020, I wanted to recognize the inspiring submissions we received in this year’s Developer Circles Community Challenge.

This time around, we tasked participants with uplifting their fellow innovators by creating tutorials about solutions and code that leverage Facebook products. After our regional winners announcement in November, we were thrilled to reveal the overall global winners last Friday December 18 and shine a light on some brilliant, ecosystem-led documentation across Messenger, PyTorch, React, React Native, Spark AR and Wit.ai.

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Our first place winner in the intermediate/advanced category was Taiwan-based creator Hsing Huang, who developed a detailed, step-by-step guide for empowering artists to dive into the technical world of augmented reality by crafting playful pop-up cards with Spark AR.

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We can’t wait to continue raising the profile of the winners and their work by showcasing the tutorials on our social and digital channels as catalysts for innovation.

Looking ahead to 2021

Throughout such a challenging year, we’ve been deeply inspired by the resilience and resourcefulness of our ecosystem – and it’s been our privilege to offer support and guidance as they #BuildwithFacebook.

Coming up next year, we have so many fresh and exciting opportunities lined up for our thriving community of innovators. To be among the first to find out about all of the latest experiences, don’t forget to register for our Facebook for Developers newsletter.

And, lastly, on behalf of the whole Facebook team – I just wanted to thank and celebrate everyone who took part in our programs for some truly amazing innovation this year, under the most difficult of circumstances.

Facebook Developers

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Introducing an Update to the Data Protection Assessment

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Over the coming year, some apps with access to certain types of user data on our platforms will be required to complete the annual Data Protection Assessment. We have made a number of improvements to this process since our launch last year, when we introduced our first iteration of the assessment.

The updated Data Protection Assessment will include a new developer experience that is enhanced through streamlined communications, direct support, and clear status updates. Today, we’re sharing what you can expect from these new updates and how you can best prepare for completing this important privacy requirement if your app is within scope.

If your app is in scope for the Data Protection Assessment, and you’re an app admin, you’ll receive an email and a message in your app’s Alert Inbox when it’s time to complete the annual assessment. You and your team of experts will then have 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. We’ve built a new platform that enhances the user experience of completing the Data Protection Assessment. These updates to the platform are based on learnings over the past year from our partnership with the developer community. When completing the assessment, you can expect:

  • Streamlined communication: All communications and required actions will be through the My Apps page. You’ll be notified of pending communications requiring your response via your Alerts Inbox, email, and notifications in the My Apps page.

    Note: Other programs may still communicate with you through the App Contact Email.

  • Available support: Ability to engage with Meta teams via the Support tool to seek clarification on the questions within the Data Protection Assessment prior to submission and help with any requests for more info, or to resolve violations.

    Note: To access this feature, you will need to add the app and app admins to your Business Manager. Please refer to those links for step-by-step guides.

  • Clear status updates: Easy to understand status and timeline indicators throughout the process in the App Dashboard, App Settings, and My Apps page.
  • Straightforward reviewer follow-ups: Streamlined experience for any follow-ups from our reviewers, all via developers.facebook.com.

We’ve included a brief video that provides a walkthrough of the experience you’ll have with the Data Protection Assessment:

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The Data Protection Assessment elevates the importance of data security and helps gain the trust of the billions of people who use our products and services around the world. That’s why we are committed to providing a seamless experience for our partners as you complete this important privacy requirement.

Here is what you can do now to prepare for the assessment:

  1. Make sure you are reachable: Update your developer or business account contact email and notification settings.
  2. Review the questions in the Data Protection Assessment and engage with your teams on how best to answer these questions. You may have to enlist the help of your legal and information security points of contact to answer some parts of the assessment.
  3. Review Meta Platform Terms and our Developer Policies.

We know that when people choose to share their data, we’re able to work with the developer community to safely deliver rich and relevant experiences that create value for people and businesses. It’s a privilege we share when people grant us access to their data, and it’s imperative that we protect that data in order to maintain and build upon their trust. This is why the Data Protection Assessment focuses on data use, data sharing and data security.

Data privacy is challenging and complex, and we’re dedicated to continuously improving the processes to safeguard user privacy on our platform. Thank you for partnering with us as we continue to build a safer, more sustainable platform.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Updated July 18: Developers and advertising partners may be required to share information on their app’s privacy practices in third party app stores, such as Google Play and the Apple App Store, including the functionality of SDKs provided by Meta. To help make it easier for you to complete these requirements, we have consolidated information that explains our data collection practices for the Facebook and Audience Network SDKs.

Facebook SDK

To provide functionality within the Facebook SDK, we may receive and process certain contact, location, identifier, and device information associated with Facebook users and their use of your application. The information we receive depends on what SDK features 3rd party applications use and we have structured the document below according to these features.

App Ads, Facebook Analytics, & App Events

Facebook App Events allow you to measure the performance of your app using Facebook Analytics, measure conversions associated with Facebook ads, and build audiences to acquire new users as well as re-engage existing users. There are a number of different ways your app can use app events to keep track of when people take specific actions such as installing your app or completing a purchase.

With Facebook SDK, there are app events that are automatically logged (app installs, app launches, and in-app purchases) and collected for Facebook Analytics unless you disable automatic event logging. Developers determine what events to send to Facebook from a list of standard events, or via a custom event.

When developers send Facebook custom events, these events could include data types outside of standard events. Developers control sending these events to Facebook either directly via application code or in Events Manager for codeless app events. Developers can review their code and Events Manager to determine which data types they are sending to Facebook. It’s the developer’s responsibility to ensure this is reflected in their application’s privacy policy.

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Advanced Matching

Developers may also send us additional user contact information in code, or via the Events Manager. Advanced matching functionality may use the following data, if sent:

  • email address, name, phone number, physical address (city, state or province, zip or postal code and country), gender, and date of birth.
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Facebook Login

There are two scenarios for applications that use Facebook Login via the Facebook SDK: Authenticated Sign Up or Sign In, and User Data Access via Permissions. For authentication, a unique, app-specific identifier tied to a user’s Facebook Account enables the user to sign in to your app. For Data Access, a user must explicitly grant your app permission to access data.

Note: Since Facebook Login is part of the Facebook SDK, we may collect other information referenced here when you use Facebook Login, depending on your settings.

Device Information

We may also receive and process the following information if your app is integrated with the Facebook SDK:

  • Device identifiers;
  • Device attributes, such as device model and screen dimensions, CPU core, storage size, SDK version, OS and app versions, and app package name; and
  • Networking information, such as the name of the mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, and IP address.

Audience Network SDK

We may receive and process the following information when you use the Audience Network SDK to integrate Audience Network ads in your app:

  • Device identifiers;
  • Device attributes, such as device model and screen dimensions, operating system, mediation platform and SDK versions; and
  • Ad performance information, such as impressions, clicks, placement, and viewability.

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

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Resources for Completing App Store Data Practice Questionnaires for Apps That Include the Facebook or Audience Network SDK

First seen at developers.facebook.com

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