If you have published an app on Amazon that uses v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API, you have until April 30, 2015 to ensure your app works properly with v2.0 of the API. Beginning April 30, v1.0 API requests will be processed as v2.0 API requests. This may break your app’s functionality unless it is built with a recent version of the Facebook SDK or you have custom code that explicitly calls v2.0 of the API (or higher).
Detailed information about the nature and scope of this update by Facebook is available from their Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide. You can get specifics on the migration process from Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page.
Whenever a public API is updated, there is the potential to break applications that rely on it. API providers want to avoid this, of course, so they usually do two things. First, they assign a unique version number to each release, so developers can be specific about which functionality we are requesting. Second, they support both old and new API versions simultaneously, for a time, allowing our apps to continue to function until we can upgrade them to use the newest API.
Facebook did both of these. They first released their Platform API in April 2010, updating it several times since then and always attaching a new version number to each release. They have also continued to support previous API versions, so even if a developer were slow to upgrade, his or her apps would continue to work as expected.
APRIL 30 CUT-OFF
That finally changes on April 30, 2015. That’s the day that Facebook will officially turn off support for v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API. Versions 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the API are already available (and have been for some time), so starting April 30, new and existing apps will be expected to use one of these versions, if they don’t already.
Luckily for most developers, Facebook provides SDKs for several platforms and languages, which makes handling API versions largely automatic. If you develop your app using a recent version of one of these SDKs, chances are you will not be affected when the Facebook Platform API v1.0 is deprecated. See Facebook’s Platform Versioning page for more information.
NEW PERMISSIONS, LOGIN FLOW
If you did not build your app using a recent Facebook SDK, or you have custom code that constructs unversioned API requests, your app may break on April 30. There are several significant differences between v1.0 and v2.0 of the API besides functional changes and improvements, including updates to permissions and user login. You should review the complete list on Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page. There you will find detailed documentation explaining the impact of every change, how to adjust your app to deal with them, and how to invoke versioned calls manually if you still prefer not to use a Facebook SDK.
Here are just a few of the areas affected by the migration:
- User IDs and Friends – App-scoped User IDs, new friends permissions, scope change when querying friends, friend lists are now title-only, etc.
- Login – Optional permissions, basic_info is now public_profile, new review process for apps using Facebook Login, etc.
- Graph API – All calls require access token (except picture retrieval), several new API endpoints to support taggable, inviteable, social context, and more.
- FQL – Official warning of upcoming deprecation.
- Sharing – Tagging people, app-to-app linking, new shared dialog for web, feed dialog limited to friends using your app, etc.
- Games and Payments – Adding users has changed, apps can no longer read a group’s feed, no more event creation by API, apps can post as apps, etc.
IS MY APP AFFECTED?
Unless you know for sure that your app uses v2.0 or later of the Facebook Platform API, you should assume that it will require an update. However, API v2.0 is used by default by Facebook’s Android SDK starting with version 3.14, so if you built your app after April 2014 using that SDK or a later version of it, no update is needed.
Keep in mind that v2.0 of the Facebook Platform API is itself scheduled to be deprecated eventually; after April 30 it will simply be the oldest version still supported. Facebook has committed to maintain each API version for not less than two years after it is introduced. See the Facebook Platform Changelog for more information.
If you believe your Amazon mobile app or game may be affected by Facebook’s deprecation of it’s v1.0 API, it is highly recommended that you visit the version-specific upgrade page mentioned above, or the more general Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide.
- peter (@peterdotgames)