Facebook brings status update features to apps

Everything you can do in a status update you will soon be able to do from within an app. Developers now have the ability to let users add friends, location, and share photos directly from apps.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Facebook today announced an update to the Facebook Platform that allows users to do all of the things they can do in a status update (add friends, location, and share photos) directly from the apps they're using. Developers can now provide more context directly through apps on Facebook, particularly apps that specialize in photos, videos, or location, and/or that are focused on specific interests.

Facebook offered an example: picture an app used to share your favorite meals. Now imagine that it now lets you add where you ate it and who you were with when you did. The same can be said for working out, watching a movie, going to a concert, and so on. Facebook is allowing developers to add status update features to apps.

Location and friends can be added as properties to any photo, link, or update written from an app, just like when Facebook users add a photo or updates their status. To enable these features, Facebook has now made available the following APIs and documentation:

Just like for status updates, new users of a given app select the audience (Public, Friends, Only Me, Custom, or Friend Lists) they would like to share their app activity within the app permissions dialog. Furthermore, users can choose to feature, hide, or route these stories for Tag Review. In short, the new APIs mean apps can publish the same content users can post through facebook.com and the official Facebook mobile apps.

Developers working with the Open Graph can now build apps that display large user generated photos and playback video in news feed and timeline. The former is attached to actions and shown in a large format in the News Feed and Timeline when the user_generated property is set while the latter is supported in the News Feed and Timeline when using the og:video tags on an object.

"The most engaging stories often capture where you are, who you're with, and a photo to show what happened," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We look forward to seeing the new experiences you will create with these features."

Menlo Park wants each user's activity, both online and offline, to be documented on their Facebook Timeline. These apps play a big part in that: adding an app means it will update your Timeline for you whenever you do a given activity. Now these apps can automatically handle even more data for you, meaning users will be posting even more personal information to Facebook.

Facebook this week also updated the Dev App to have more checks up front to prevent incomplete Open Graph submissions: Open Graph Checklist. Submissions that do not meet these criteria will not be approved.

The company already said late last month that over 90 percent of the thousands of Open Graph submissions received since f8 have been fully reviewed and responded to. The remainder is on track to be completed within the next few weeks.

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