Facebook Details Breaking Changes For February

Developer & Design

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Facebook's weekly Operation Developer Love is a great way to keep on top of Facebook development. There's at least a few new important updates or enhancements each week, but there's the odd week where nothing happens. Good thing it's the beginning of the month, and therefore the next list of breaking changes is revealed.

Facebook announced today that the November 2012 breaking changes have now gone live. Some of the changes include the retirement of sending payment reports to developers via email, and new required permissions. You can read up on it here.

Let's not dwell on the past, and instead look towards the future. A future that will not go into effect until February 6, 2013. On this date, Facebook will be implementing a number of breaking changes that developers need to be aware of.

The first big change is that Facebook will no longer "show Custom Open Graph actions that were published simply by a user consuming content." The move follows a change to the Open Graph API in October that blocks developers from automatically pushing custom Open Graph stories as users consumer content.

Smaller changes will go under the usual migration settings where developers can turn on or off the following features:

Authenticated referrals going away
We will remove the Authenticated Referrals feature. You should instead use the Auth Dialog.

Create_event permission required to remove attendees from event
We will require the create_event permission in order to remove attendees from an event a user admins.

Minor change to admin.getAppProperties call
When making an admin.getAppProperties call, we will now return an empty Android Key Hash field as [] instead of [""].

Canonical URLs used when fetching Open Graph objects
We will start using canonical URLs (e.g. the URL set in an og:url tag, 301/302 redirects, etc.) when fetching objects.

Offset no longer allowed when searching posts
We will no longer allow the offset parameter to be used when searching stream posts. Please use since and until to do paging instead.

Curly bracket syntax for mentioning users in notifications going away
We will no longer allow the curly bracket syntax ({USER_ID}) for mentioning users in notifications. Developers should instead use the new syntax (@[USER_ID]).

Removing ability to post to friends walls via Graph API
We will remove the ability to post to a user's friends' walls via the Graph API. Specifically, posts against [user_id]/feed where [user_id] is different from the session user, or stream.publish calls where the target_id user is different from the session user, will fail. If you want to allow people to post to their friends' timelines, invoke the feed dialog. Stories that include friends via user mentions tagging or action tagging will show up on the friend’s timeline (assuming the friend approves the tag).

Once again, the above changes will not go into effect until February 6. Developers have until then to make their peace and move their apps to using the new systems in place.

As for the bug report, Facebook says that 229 bugs were reported, and 33 bugs were fixed. Twenty-nine bugs were also accepted for further review. You can check out the full bug report at the blog post.