Facebook Platform Roadmap Update
by Namita Gupta - August 19, 2010 at 12:15pm

We announced a number of new products and updates to Facebook Platform at f8 in April, including the Graph API, social plugins, and support for OAuth 2.0. Over the next few months we will be making upgrades and removing infrequently used parts of Platform to support these new technologies at every level of the stack, while trying to minimize the amount of changes required for existing applications. To keep you posted on the latest efforts to simplify Platform, we've updated our developer roadmap and will continue to communicate upcoming changes through it.

Unifying Platform Tools for Applications and Websites

We have a vision for Facebook Platform that is powerful, standards-based, and easy to use across Facebook.com, the Web, and mobile devices. As part of this, we are unifying the Platform technologies used to build on Facebook.com — OAuth 2.0, the Graph API, and the JavaScript SDK — with the technologies used to integrate Facebook into external websites.

First, we are upgrading the authentication mechanism we use for all callback URLs to be based on OAuth 2.0. You can read more about the new signature scheme and can test it out in your own applications by turning on the "OAuth 2.0 for Canvas" migration in your application settings. This setting will become the default for all new applications during the next couple months.

We are also moving toward IFrames instead of FBML for both canvas applications and Page tabs. As a part of this process, we will be standardizing on a small set of core FBML tags that will work with both applications on Facebook and external Web pages via our JavaScript SDK, effectively eliminating the technical difference between developing an application on and off Facebook.com.

We will begin supporting IFrames for Page tabs in the next few months. Developers building canvas applications should start using IFrames immediately. By the end of this year, we will no longer allow new FBML applications to be created, so all new canvas applications and Page tabs will have to be based on IFrames and our JavaScript SDK. We will, however, continue to support existing implementations of the older authentication mechanism as well as FBML on Page tabs and applications.

Finally, due to low usage rates, we will remove application tabs from user profiles in the next couple months. Application tabs will continue to be supported on Facebook Pages.

Simplifying Platform

In focusing on optimizing APIs that are broadly used by developers, we are deprecating the following features and will no longer support them at the end of the year:

  • Infrequently used REST API methods
  • <fb:editor>, <fb:board>, <fb:wall> and <fb:feed> functionality
  • Data Store API

See the roadmap for details.

Cleaning House

We've also spent some time cleaning up some of our developer tools and documentation. We've simplified the Developer application by removing obsolete settings and tabs, and we have finished migrating the Developer Wiki to our new and improved developer site.

We have a lot of work to do, but we hope these changes will get us significantly closer to our goal of making Platform standards-based and easier to use. We appreciate your feedback in the Developer Forum as we move ahead.

Namita, a product manager focused on Facebook Platform, is excited for a simpler and unified Facebook Platform.