This week, Parse reached a new milestone of 100,000 apps. We also rolled out Android device targeting and a new version of our iOS SDK. Finally, we launched hashtags to make it easier for people to engage in public conversations on Facebook.
We're excited to announce that over 100,000 apps have been built on Parse. Since joining Facebook in April, Parse has added over 20,000 apps and enhanced their offering with Parse Hosting and Express.js support. It's never been a more exciting time to join the Parse team.
We have added an additional mobile targeting feature that is especially useful for Facebook ads such as mobile app install ads. Now you can reach audiences on Android tablets and Android smartphones separately, similar to how you can already target iPad and iPhone separately. Android device targeting is useful if, for example, you have separate apps for Android tablets and for Android smartphones and want to direct people to different apps based on what device they are using.
In addition to Android tablet and smartphone targeting, you can also continue to leverage our existing mobile targeting features, such Wi‑Fi targeting and operating system version targeting (i.e. iPhone 5.0 and Jelly Bean 4.1). Get access to all these mobile targeting features through our Ads Create Tool, Power Editor, or our Ads API.
We released an update to the Facebook iOS SDK that includes bug fixes to improve stability and other minor enhancements. Download the latest SDK here.
We launched hashtags to let people add context to posts and include it in public conversations. Clicking on a hashtag shows a feed of what other People and Pages are saying about that event or topic. We'll continue to roll out features that help people discover more of the world's conversations.
We introduced Operation Developer Love over two years ago to improve how we communicate with the developer community. Since then, we've made good progress fixing bugs, improving our documentation, and managing breaking changes. As our support processes have matured, these have become core focus areas for the team, and we've made our developer communication more targeted through developer alerts. Supporting our APIs and documentation remain a high priority for us, but going forward, we are changing our "Platform Updates" blog posts to focus on product announcements.
Today we are introducing a new Open Graph (OG) business object type to allow us to better surface local business information in News Feed, Graph Search, Check-Ins, and Pages. Although this is not a breaking change, we recommend that developers start using this new OG business object type over custom OG objects to represent local business information.
If you have already established a custom business object, you can map your existing custom object to the OG business type. To do this, go to your custom object type settings and update your 'Inherits From:' section from 'Object' to 'Business'. You will notice that your properties will now include additional required fields for place and business contact information. You will also need to update your OG tags to include the new fields so that your custom object can inherit from the OG business type.
The new OG business object type has the following properties:
As we mentioned in late March, we are moving from Credits to local currency pricing to simplify the purchase experience for users, improve the performance of the payments flow, and make it easier for developers to price virtual goods for a global audience.
Today we are launching the local currency payments API for all game developers to integrate into their current and future apps. Per our breaking change policy, we are giving developers 90 days to migrate to local currency payments. After September 12, 2013, we will no longer be able to support Facebook Credits. In order to continue accepting payments, please plan to migrate your app before that date.
In addition, we will be deprecating Payer Promotions for Facebook Credits, and will support Payer Promotions for local currency within the coming months. We also will be deprecating Facebook-sponsored support for TrialPay offers, however, TrialPay will continue to support these for Facebook & our developers by offering a direct integration solution for developers. This means the integration support will move from Facebook to direct integration solutions. Fees will remain the same and advertising rules will not change; only the technical integration will be different.
Local currency payments gives developers much more control over their pricing and payments. As a result of the new payments API, you can now:
Before announcing the payments breaking change, we onboarded early partners to help provide an outside perspective on the effects on payment conversion, as well as feedback on features we could implement and improve upon before general availability.
Peak, a game development company based out of Turkey, migrated to local currency and found that the removal of blocking HTTP requests created a faster and smoother overall user experience than the previous payment system. One of the largest game development companies, Playdom, found that the use of Open Graph objects quickened the user payment flow as the new system did not have to wait for their servers to respond with price point information. Happy Elements, a games development partner in Asia, similarly found that local currency payments greatly improved their loading and transaction speeds, providing an overall better user experience.
Plarium, an Israeli game development partner and another early adopter of local currency, found that the new payment system gave them much more flexibility when pricing across a range of local currencies. They noted that they could quickly and easily customize pricing for blocks of game currency to suit specific markets and regions, and tweak prices to match ongoing promotions.
Example pricing in Plarium's Total Domination game
We strongly encourage you to start the process now to ensure you have adequate time to integrate local currency pricing and to optimize your app's payment experience, performance, and pricing. Below are a few key considerations as you begin to migrate your payments:
If you have any further questions, please visit our developer FAQs on local currency.
This month, we're out and about again at developer conferences around the world. Meet us at:
Mobile DevCon: LATAM: Buenos Aires, June 3-4; Santiago, June 6-7. Mobile DevCon: LATAM is a community-run series of conferences in Argentina and Chile covering the latest in mobile and social app development. Developer advocates Luz Caballero and Prashant Sridharan will cover the latest Facebook mobile SDKs, and will host office hours for developers using Facebook to come and work through code-level issues in their apps.
Le Web: London, June 5-6. Le Web is a European conference about innovation and entrepreneurship on the web. Join Julien Codorniou, our Head of European Platform Partnerships, for a panel discussion called "Ruling the App Store" to learn how to drive installation, engagement and monetization of mobile apps.
Selenium Conference: Boston, June 10-12. The Selenium Conference brings together developers in the Selenium community to discuss the future of testing. Facebook engineer Damien Sereni will be speaking about how we use Selenium for automated testing in our twice-daily release process. His talk will focus on how we encouraged engineers to write good tests, how we keep the test quality high and how we use the tests during the release. He’ll also share some of the new tools we’re building for mobile testing.
Parse Drinkup at WWDC: San Francisco, June 12. Join the Parse team for a lively event at the W San Francisco Hotel, featuring talks from some of our favorite partners and friends, an open bar, snacks, video games, music, and a few surprises. We're excited to chat with you about what you're building, and if you really love what we are working on, come talk to our talent team.
We're looking forward to meeting some of you this June. You can learn where we'll be in future months by checking out our calendar on Lanyrd.