Facebook Announces New App Insights

Every week, Facebook updates developers on the changes coming to the platform. This is part of the company’s Operation Developer Love that seeks to keep dialog between the company and the develo...
Facebook Announces New App Insights
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  • Every week, Facebook updates developers on the changes coming to the platform. This is part of the company’s Operation Developer Love that seeks to keep dialog between the company and the developers that support the platform open. While every week may not see any drastic changes, chances are we might see some useful info.

    The big change this week is the addition of new app insights. You can access the new chart by hitting the growth option under installs. The chart details the change in active users over time by installs, uninstalls, active users who have dropped off, returning users and retained users.

    There is an additional chart if your app has over 25,000 monthly active users. It’s called a triangle heatmap and it shows how “different cohorts of new users remain engaged over time, and you’re able to find patterns that indicate what has affected engagement.” Once again, this information is only available to apps with a large number of installs. Even then, information will not be available for days that have less than 30 new installs.

    Facebook was kind enough to create a video explaining the new app insights. Check it out for more information:

    After last week’s announcement that breaking changes will be announced on the first Wednesday of every month, Facebook today announced an easier way to test breaking changes. Developers can check out the Migrations framework to make sure your apps are compatible with the breaking changes. The option for migration will be available 90 days before the breaking changes go into effect so developers will have plenty of time to make sure their apps are up to speed with current changes.

    Facebook also announced the breaking changes that will go into effect on July 5. There are more than usual this time, but that just means more to be prepared for when July comes around. The first is that they are renaming the FB.Canvas.setAutoResize function to FB.Canvas.setAutoGrow. They claim this is because it more accurately represents its function. While the FB.Canvas.setAutoResize will stop working on July 5, it will be completely deleted on August 1.

    Another change will require all calls to get events from the Graph API or FQL to obtain an access token to be used.

    These next few changes can be enabled or disabled using the individual migration settings until July 5. After that, they go into effect permanently for everyone. The first change has the hours property of Pages returning times in the HH:MM format instead of the old Unix time format.

    Batch API errors will be returned in a new format. The change will have them formatted in-line like the rest of the Graph API. The new format will look like: {“error”: {“message”: “”, “type”: “”}}.

    They are removing timezones from event times as well. This is because they found having a timezone in the API led to confusion among developers. Any events built with the API should return local time.

    The wap dialog display mode will be removed. Alongside that, Facebook is also removing the following event FQL objects: show_in_search, show_wall, show_photos, show_videos, show_posts, nid, tagline, event_type, and event_subtype.

    Previously, tags could only exist on photos with x,y coordinates. Since you can now tag photos and statuses, Facebook says that there is a possibility that a photo can be tagged and contain no x or y parameters.

    The JavaScript SDK will see some dialog removals with bookmark.add and profile.addtab both going the way of the dodo. Facebook says they don’t serve any purpose anyway so there’s no need to keep them around.

    Finally, there is a change coming to the Graph API in regards to the metadata=1 parameter. Facebook says it will be moving the previously independent type property into the metadata array.

    This week saw 188 bugs reported with 20 bugs being fixed. You can view the list of bug fixes at the developer blog post.

    Check back next week for more changes coming to the Facebook developer platform. Who knows, there may be more big changes in the works.

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