July 2009 Platform News
by Pete Bratach - July 31, 2009 at 4:29pm

With over 950,000 developers using Facebook Platform to build applications that engage millions of users every day, we are focused on making the developer experience as positive as possible. As part of our ongoing effort to improve our communication with our developer community, we offer you our latest monthly roundup of the announcements, new features, and updates to Facebook Platform that occurred during July, 2009.

New Features

  • Encourage visitors to your website to become fans on your Facebook Page with the Fan Box, a Facebook Connect social widget.
  • Render Facebook Connect features in other languages so you can provide your users with a consistent and seamless user experience.
  • Target your Facebook ads to people who have never used your applications to find new users or to existing users of your applications to encourage repeat visits.
  • We released a beta API method, intl.getTranslations which can retrieve the native strings, their translations, and each translation’s approval status and approver.

Updates

  • So we can provide developers with a faster and more reliable code base, as well as a more robust environment where you can build your applications, we've started refactoring Facebook Platform code. You don't have to modify any of your code to account for the refactoring. We'll keep a running list of API methods as they get refactored. We hope to complete this process by mid-September.
  • With our growth to over 250 million users making geographic networks obsolete, we're deprecating regional networks September 30, 2009. After that date, calls to users.getInfo or queries on the user FQL table, won't return regional networks for affiliations; we will still return corporate and educational networks though.
  • Following up on the launch of usernames, the user, page, and profile FQL tables now contain the indexable field username. Additionally, the url field in those tables now returns the URL containing the username.
  • If you installed a Fan Box on your website, you can reference your own CSS so you can style it.
  • We deprecated the Publisher Mode setting in the application settings editor as well as the admin.getAppProperties and admin.setAppProperties. Publisher integrations that were configured for the legacy/wide setting now appear inline. For help creating a fluid layout, see this blog post from April.
  • You can now choose between giving your users an email address or a URL for them to follow when they want to contact you for application support. Visit your application's settings page in the Developer app to check it out.

Announcements

  • As of July 15th, 250 million people are using Facebook to stay updated on what's happening around them and share with the people in their lives. We couldn't have done it without you, developers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the new advertising guidelines, which take effect August 3, 2009.
  • Share your thoughts and experiences developing your Facebook Connect integration in this survey.
  • We started testing new privacy settings with a small percentage of users.
  • Using Facebook's Live Stream Box, people viewed the Michael Jackson memorial service on their favorite website – CNN, E! Online, ABC or MTV – and participated in the conversation about it with their Facebook friends or others watching around the world. Facebook has become a central place to view the news about Michael Jackson and share in a tribute to his life and the mourning of his death. There were a total of about 1 million users posting approximately 800,000 status updates on Facebook related to the live online broadcasts by CNN, E! Online, ABC and MTV of the Michael Jackson memorial service.

Articles/Videos

Keep an eye on this blog (or subscribe to the RSS feed), the Platform Status Feed (or subscribe to its RSS feed), and the weekly Push Changes articles for announcements, changes, and other important bulletins.

As always, we appreciate your continued feedback in our Developer Forum -- let us know how we can reach and communicate with you even better.