Facebook API was introduced in 2014 to allow the integration of Facebook functions with the third-party applications. The development of Facebook API facilitated the growing business of social media management and automation tools such as Promo Republic, Social Bee, Planable, and more. The recent changes of rules and restrictions for Facebook API can affect some of the automatic functions and availability of some management features with these tools. What do the API changes mean to Facebook users, especially those who use the third-party Facebook management tools? These FB API changes have two important aspects.
First, the new Facebook API rule is to strengthen the app review requirements. It states that "access to these APIs will require a formal app review and for apps using the Pages API, submission is required within 90 days once app review resumes or access will be removed." That means vendors of Facebook tools will need to go through the new review process in order to get the approval for tool app integration with Facebook API.
Second, the legacy APIs are deprecated. Specifically, "the Events, Groups, Pages and Instagram APIs will no longer be available to new developers." That means the connections to Facebook Groups and Events are no longer available from the FB management tools. The tool vendors have to develop new interfaces to integrate with the "more robust process" of the new FB API.
These changes have already affected Facebook management/automation tool functions. For example, Planable (planable.io), a SaaS tool for social media management and collaboration, has to take down some of the popular features. In the message board within Planable, the following message was posted:
"We are sad to announce that due to recent changes in Facebook API, some Planable features will not be available anymore. We are currently looking for workarounds, but the updates are likely here to stay." The following functions have to be down.
Facebook pages mentions:
You can no longer tag Facebook pages in your posts anymore.
We can no longer connect Facebook groups at the moment, nor publish to groups. This feature is temporarily suspended as we undergo another approval process by Facebook. Unfortunately there is no ETA when groups will be enabled again, we are doing our best to re-enable it as soon as possible.
Obviously, Planable is not happy with the new API update, because a strong selling point of Planable is the connection to multiple Facebook entities, including the profile page, business page, event, and group. In fact, the Facebook Groups feature was just added a month ago. After some significant hard work and investment, Planable proudly announced the new feature recently:
We're happy to launch Facebook Groups you've been waiting for! We understand how important community management is for you. Now, if you're an admin of a Facebook group, you can easily connect it in Planable.
Supported media formats are image(s), video, gif, link thumbnails.
To connect a group, please go to Add Pages > Facebook and click "Add group".
Let us know what you think about it!
Note: You can connect a Facebook Group only if you are an admin of the group.
But now, all the investments are drained down in such a short time without much return.
Planable is not alone. All social media tool vendors who deal with Facebook have to re-develop their systems to work with the FB APIs. This could be an good business opportunities though. Those who can restore and improve these features and functions with the new FB APIs will gain competitive advantage and win new customers.
Facebook API Change Updates
Facebook App Review