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I have been restricted from Facebook groups for a quarter of an eon



I have a confession. I’m kind of a jerk on Facebook.

It’s not that I have some fundamental desire to be a jerk, or I even like being a jerk; I just am a jerk. And when I say jerk, I mean opinionated.

On my own Facebook feed, I try to limit my posts and comments to food, science fiction stuff, random things my pets do, and links to my articles. This is because most people enjoy that. But I also participate in lots of groups, usually about restaurants, cooking, and food. 

Well, people don’t like me in those groups. Why? Because people say really incorrect, misinformed things. They are just wrong; they opine about stuff in which they lack any kind of expertise. So when their opinions are wrong, I correct them civilly. I don’t engage in ad hominem attacks; I don’t break any group rules. 

Despite the fact what I do simply falls under knowledge transfer and adding value to the overall discussion, my tone is considered “attacking” due to my desire to correct people, as these folks fundamentally do not understand that civil discourse with tens of thousands of other people is not just forums to agree with everything everyone says. So I frequently am blocked by a lot of participants. I get reported a lot, too, because I am a big mean jerkface.

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Facebook rarely contacts me with a “you did something that goes against our standards” message and removes a comment or a post. I’ve never been in Facebook jail or suspended. But on occasion, I do get thrown out of groups because a group administrator doesn’t seem to know how to enforce their rules consistently, or I have just been deemed such a colossal pain in the ass from members complaining about my relentless desire to tell people in the most civil manner possible that their opinions are worthless that they need to get rid of me. 

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Yes, I get thrown off because they do not like me. And when it happens, it doesn’t surprise me, and I move on.

Well, last night, it looks like Facebook has had enough of me telling people in groups that they are wrong. Late yesterday evening, after trying to post a comment in one of the groups I belong to, I received this ominous message:


This doesn’t look good.

Jason Perlow/ZDNet

I’m restricted from posting or commenting in groups that I do not manage myself until December 4? Six Months? My God, that seems rather extreme.

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But after putting down my evening cocktail and adjusting my glasses, I looked at the number next to December 4: 219250468. Well, that has to be code for something. Maybe it’s an expression of 64-bit UNIX epoch time? I inquired with a few colleagues about it. Ed Bott ran it through Python, and well, he got the year 219,250,468 at 10:30 am.

Well, the good news is, at least I’ll be able to post by lunch. And by that time, not only will the UK and EU have Brexit figured out because Novopangea will have formed, but also, where I live in South Florida, I will be able to drive to the tip of South Africa or Caracas, Venezuela, for lunch, and be back in time for my afternoon Zoom calls. 

That must be a silver lining. At the very least, I won’t have to tell people in South Florida that their food opinions are worthless, because from what I understand, the cuisine in Praetoria and Johannesburg is fantastic; I will be able to get legit braai, bobotie, and bunny chow in just a 30-minute drive from my home.

It does feel like a bit of extreme punishment for being an opinionated pain in the ass. Indeed, other people have been incarcerated for less time than this. 

I mean, our former president has only been suspended for two years — now granted, I can still post in my groups and on my feed, but I can’t post anywhere else until what seems like the heat death of the universe.

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Okay, I exaggerate. Maybe not that long. But General Zod, the planet Krypton’s most notorious criminal, and his henchmen were sentenced to the Phantom Zone for a paltry 300 Kryptonian sun-cycles of “somatic reconditioning” for using a duplicator ray to create a private army of Bizarros to overthrow the government. For sedition. My sentence is like, 730,000 times worse than General Zod’s. 

But how long is 219 million years, anyway? I mean, it is longer than we have to wait for the next season of Star Trek: Picard or The Expanse, but what does that look like in terms of our fundamental understanding of referenceable events throughout history? 

Well, yes, geologically, it’s long. It’s about a quarter of an eon (a billion years) and half the current Phanerozoic Eon length, which started 540 million years ago. So the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt at least 300 times in that timeframe because it happens every 725,000 years or so. And all life on earth will be made extinct at least two or three times more, because on average, it appears to be happening at least every 30-50 million years, depending on what caused it. But yeah, statistically, at least one more big asteroid. And perhaps a nearby Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) or another mass attack by farting microbes.

So yeah, I am a jerk, but maybe Facebook should lighten up on the group restrictions. A bit.

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Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0





Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.

For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.

General Updates

Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting

As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.

We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.

This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.

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Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API

Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.

With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.

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Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.

Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads

  • Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads

    Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
  • Re-Launching Call Ads via API

    On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.

    Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

Graph API changes for user granular permission feature

We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:

  • Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
  • Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account

With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).

The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.

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Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights

Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.

This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.

After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.

Please review the media insights and user insights developer documentation to learn more.

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Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints

Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.

API Version Deprecations:

As part of Facebook’s versioning schedule for Graph API and Marketing API, please note the upcoming deprecations:

Graph API

  • September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

Marketing API

  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.

Facebook Platform SDK

As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:

  • October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
  • February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset

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Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)





Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.

After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.

We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.

Please review the developer documentation to learn more.

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Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers





We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.

FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.

FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.

Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.


If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.

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Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.

Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.

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