Facebook Continues To Improve The Graph API

Developer & Design

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Facebook needs to continually improve its services so that users, developers and investors remain happy. The social network has given a lot of recent attention to its Open Graph and related services. The trend continues today with an update to the Graph API.

Facebook announced three updates to the Graph API today. The company claims that the updates "make it easier and faster to access data from the social graph." Ease and speed will be key in the coming months as Facebook and Facebook-connected apps continue the march to mobile.

The first major update is Field Expansion. Facebook says that it "significantly improves performance for API calls and reduces your coding effort for retrieving data." In short, developers can use fewer API calls to get the exact data they need. Developers will also be able to create nested queries. Check out the documentation for more details.

Documentation can only go so far in explaining new concepts though. For those who need some practical experience, Facebook has added field expansion to the Graph API Explorer. You can now play around with the new feature at your leisure without the risk of screwing up your own app.

The final update - pagination - makes data sets easier to read. The change will make definitive indications for when you reach the end or beginning of a data set. The "previous" and "next" buttons will also vanish when there is no new data set to peruse. Facebook claims that the change will lead to "faster request processing times." You can read up on pagination here.

Facebook was a little slow last week in releasing new updates, but today's update may signal another wave of major updates to their products and services. I'm still holding out for news of a better and faster Android app any day now.