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I can’t quit you, Facebook, but I should. We all should.



I really thought I was done with Facebook, and for all the right reasons, large and small.

After all, it’s a source of global misinformation whose effects have been dire. It promotes political tribalism and division. It makes me jealous of my friends’ seemingly perfect lives. And it keeps trying to lure me into buying overpriced, unnecessary (and beautiful) blouses from a place called Frank and Eileen.

Who needs any of that? In recent months, I’ve hardly looked at it — until the question of the slag-dumping arose.

I’ve been writing a memoir, mostly about my life in journalism, but I touch briefly on my childhood in Lackawanna, N.Y., where Bethlehem Steel once operated a huge mill that employed 28,000 people.

As a kid, I would see the sky turn bright orange at dusk. We all knew that this had nothing to do with a glorious sunset, though it was pretty. It meant, in the neighborhood vernacular, that “they’re dumping the slag.”

I wanted to be precise about this. So I started researching online, but couldn’t find what I was looking for.

Then it occurred to me that I could crowdsource this on Facebook. Many of my contacts there are friends and family from western New York, including plenty from Lackawanna.

So I put the question out there — and all the information I was looking for immediately came flooding in.

A former Buffalo News colleague said she would ask her father, who had worked at the plant. Soon she got back with a detailed answer about how the molten waste from steelmaking was routinely dumped into or near Lake Erie, and why the color could be seen miles away. So did my cousin Jerry.

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Some responded with their own imagery. “The entire plant had the aura of Vulcan’s forge,” wrote one.

And, most notably, a childhood friend reminded me that our former high school headmaster at Buffalo’s Nardin Academy, Michael Langan, had written a book about growing up in Lackawanna and working his way through school with a job at Bethlehem Steel. Within a few hours, and without my contacting him, Mike had texted me. He was putting his book in the mail.

Well, this was terrific, I had to admit. It was more than I could ever use, but it was wonderful to hear people’s recollections, and to learn a lot about steelmaking.

Only hours later, I went out to my porch to find that a different book had arrived. It was “An Ugly Truth,” the just-published study of Facebook’s “battle for domination,” by two New York Times tech reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang.

It’s a tough, thorough look at the behemoth company that now has nearly 3 billion users and, as of last month, is worth a trillion dollars.

The Post’s reviewer, Susan Benkelman of the American Press Institute, summed up its takeaway: “The company has put growth and profits above all else, even when it was clear that misinformation and hate speech were circulating across the platform and that the company was violating the privacy of its users.”

And then I remembered a few things — like having been present at the Senate hearing in 2018 when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to defend the company policies that enabled the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, intent on electing Donald Trump as president, to get its hands on data from millions of users.

I remembered how thoroughly incapable many senators were of even understanding the way Facebook works, much less regulating it effectively, and how at one point, 84-year-old Orrin Hatch of Utah, asked a question about the company’s business model so basic that Zuckerberg was able to answer it in four words: “Senator, we run ads.”

When it comes to Facebook, the good and the bad are indivisible. As Zuckerberg likes to brag, it’s all about connecting people, and, up to a point, that’s true, as I found out once again in my slag-dumping inquiry.

But that connectivity — combined with the company’s endless quest for domination and profit — comes with a huge downside.

To the casual user posting wedding photos or recipes, doing research or finding that old friend, using Facebook may seem to be not only fun but free.

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But in reality, the price is astonishingly high. And it’s only going in one direction.

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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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