Facebook today announced two new features for developers building applications off of the social network’s platform. As part of its monthly Operation Developer Love initiative, it has updated its APIs so that its Realtime Updates service now applies to posts on Pages. Additionally, the company is releasing Search insights allowing developers to monitor how often its app has been searched for using the site’s search bar.
As part of Facebook’s Graph API, Realtime Updates enables applications to subscribe to changes in user data. Prior to today, the only types of updates that developers could subscribe to included user information, permissions, payments, and errors.
Now, the company is including Pages posts. This means that if a post, attribute, or a number of other items changes on a Page, developers will be notified. Facebook says that it’s available to either apps installed as a visible Tab or an invisible app that has a
page_access token. In the days of yore, developers were continuously pulling the latest information about a Page down to their own servers and looking for changes on their end. Facebook believes this update will be helpful to developers and businesses since it will lead to “significant reduction in server calls and processing power.”
With Search insights, Facebook is giving its Canvas developers a Search Results tab located within its App insights dashboard that will show the number of organic and paid clicks starting from January 21, 2013. The idea is that now developers can gleam insights into how Facebook users are searching for an app or a company. The social network says that clicks will include the number of people who clicked on an app from the search bar, regardless if they have Graph Search. Unfortunately clicks from mobile and search result pages are not counted.
The release of this Search insights feature should help developers better understand who’s using their app, especially when combined with Facebook’s mobile app install ad feature that it released last October.
Oh, and one other interesting note on Facebook’s Operation Developer Love update: it has also updated its Platform policies, meaning that all apps will need to have descriptions, display names, and icons and adhere to its Advertising guidelines. It says that it’s to help clarify its requirement for businesses that use both Facebook Ads and Platform.
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