Perhaps you already know that Facebook is not only a convenient platform for you to keep in touch with your family and friends. To business, it can go a long way in engaging your customers, building your social graphs, and launching promotions.
However, not many people know about Facebook APIs. In this post, we shall explore all you need to know about Facebook’s API Feed and a few things you can achieve with it. So, what is a news feed, and why are Facebook APIs important? Let’s get started!
What’s a News Feed?
This is a feature on Facebook that continually highlights information such as videos, profile changes, photos, links, upcoming events, likes and app activity from groups, people, and pages that you are follow on Facebook.
Facebook selects what stories to display on your timeline based on your activities and friends. Meaning, you will be able to see more stories on things that you are interested in from friends and with groups you are often contacting. The more likes and comments a particular post or photo in your timeline receive, the higher the chances that it will show up at the top of your schedule.
Even though the news feed is about chronological, it does not necessarily imply that you will see the most recent posts first. Thus, if you consider that you are missing out on updates or events, you can modify your settings to prioritize more the type of content you want.
Why use the Facebook API
Simply put, a Facebook API is a computing system that enables developers to build applications which will add value as well as enhance your ability to reap maximum benefits from social media networks.
Using the Facebook API, users can add social contexts to their apps by utilizing Page, profile, group, friend, photo, and also event data. The Facebook API uses a RESTful protocol with responses that are in the JSON format.
Some of the benefits you can achieve from social APIs include:
- Business can integrate customized apps to automate posts to their Facebook timeline
- You can use APIs to collect real-time feedback on your products and services
- You can use APIs to build WordPress plugins that can enable you to display photo feeds from your social accounts
Effects of recent changes on Facebook
Following some sudden alterations that Facebook made in April 2018 to their API, several features on the Custom Feed plugins on Facebook are either no longer available or temporarily affected. Regrettably, Facebook did not give an alert that the plugins would get impacted after the changes got rolled out.
How these changes affect the Custom Feed Plugin on Facebook
With the recent changes on Facebook, here is a look at they are affecting the custom feed plugin on FB.
Displaying any content from a Facebook group is not possible anymore. However, public Facebook Pages can still post all content.
- End-users Personal Information
It is now not possible to show the avatars or names of Facebook users who comment on posts you publish or post on your page.
Since 5 th June 2018, you can display events using a Facebook page provided you are the admin, through the use of Page Access Tokens.
So that they can prevent abuse of events on the platform, Facebook’s approach was to close access for developers. From there they are to review each application to get the access reinstated.
What can you now do on Facebook?
What then can users do on Facebook even with the recent changes? Let’s look at things you may do on FB.
The events section of Facebook allows you to send invites and RSVPs back ASAP. You are now able to learn about coming events near you, and activities that your friends are attending or have created.
Anyone can create an action, and they may choose who gets invited, who sees it, and if to make the even private or public.
Once people see the invite to your event, they may choose to confirm they are attending, or they won’t be in attendance. This information gets included on the event's page; thus the host may plan accordingly.
Also, the guests can see those who will be attending.
FB Messenger is one great way that you can use to chat with family, connect with friends, share photos, hold group chats, and so much more. Messenger will allow you to communicate in many ways than using emojis, and texts.
FB messenger offers the ability to make calls, to hold group chats, ability to play games via the Messenger. There is much more than you can currently do using your Facebook messenger.
Pages are essentially profiles for celebrities and public figures, organizations, and companies. Similar to the way you will use your FB profile, organizations or individuals using pages may share photos, updates, videos and even links on the page. But, rather than these things getting sent to a list of friends, they are sent to every person who has “liked” a page.
Individuals can create a page to promote their art, business, brand or for themselves. Pages will allow you to build a fan-base or a following for a project. Thus, if you have founded a start-up or are in a band, you could consider creating a page to build a following.
A group can get viewed as a discussion forum that allows a collection of people to get together to post and chat about a shared interest or a specific topic. You can find groups for discussing things like yoga, sports teams, cartoons, organic gardening, RV camping, horror movies, and just about anything you can fathom.
Anyone can start a group and decide if it's public (all can join), closed (you need to request to join), or secret (people can only participate after getting an invite from a member). Others have also created groups for their clubs, schools or the workplace. For you to join a public group you want to participate, you will only need to click on the “Join” button.
This is Facebook’s variation of eBay or Craigslist. This is where FB users aged 18 years and above can sell and buy items for other users in a virtual format of a garage sale. The FB Marketplace allows you to view goods through searching for the specific thing you want.
Alternatively, you can browse items on sale near you. Though seller set the prices of their products, you can decide to make an offer that is different from the selling price and try to bargain a bit. The marketplace has everything from antiques, vehicles, to second-hand clothes. And it lets you buy them safely using electronic payment without having to leave Facebook.
The Live Video feature on Facebook allows you to stream live video broadcasts from your FB page. It enables people to comment, share or react to your video in real time. This makes it a good option for having things like the Q&As where you want to interact directly with your viewers.
If you are would like to have a radio show, Facebook live audio features will come in handy. In essence, this will enable anyone to be able to broadcast live radio-just like audio shows via their pages to their friends, and people who have likes their page. When listeners tune in through the news feed, they can leave reactions, feedback and comments in real time and also they can share the audio with their friends.
Following some sudden alterations that Facebook made in April 2018 to their API, several features on the Custom Feed plugins on Facebook are either no longer available or temporarily affected.
Even with this, FB has many features that you can use to promote your products, brand or business. It also allows you to participate in chats, discussions, events, buy and sell items, share photos, videos as well as have live events.
You can as well consider content aggregators such as Curator.io to give your brand more exposure. Aggregators also go a long way in enabling your audience to find new and interesting content in your niche.