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How will the Facebook API changes affect you?

Over the last few weeks the world have learnt about how it is – or should I say was – possible to “steal” personal data and use for the gain of others. In particular the situation with Cambridge Analytica (if you are not aware this is the link).

So, Facebook has to change and more importantly make some sweeping changes to their API that supplies all third party Apps like GOYakka and all others. ALL social media management tools that use Facebook – which is really all of them – are in the same boat, we all have the same new restrictions.

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What have Facebook Changed?

Lets first explain each of the areas Facebook have had to change to stop these privacy issues occurring again via their API.

I will explain each area below and how it will affect third party Apps like GOYakka going forward. Most of the changes are geared around the same problem with the same solution.

The Problem

Cambridge Analytica used their App to get details from friends of the person who granted permission to the App. This means that if Joe allowed the App to use his Facebook account they could get the details of all Joe’s friends including Mary who didn’t provide any access and in fact doesn’t know anything about it.

Clearly a problem that needs fixing.

Events

Tasks used for: Adding events to Facebook.

Apps can no longer get information about guest lists or posts on the events wall as the other guest have not agreed to the App.

Groups

Tasks used for: Scheduling posts to Groups and monitoring responses from other members in the group.

As other members in the group have not agreed to the App. Going forward all Apps will need to get special permission from Facebook to offer this function – GOYakka is currently being reviewed.

Personal information like names, photos and comments will be removed and not available to any App.

Pages

Tasks used for: Read posts or comments from any page. Schedule posts and reply to messages and comments.

Facebook want to reduce some additional access using the Pages API and therefore Apps will be reviewed by them,

Login

Tasks used for: Facebook check-ins, likes, adding photos, videos, events and groups.

Although Facebook started reducing access to some of these functions starting back in to 2014 they will be tightening up their procedure.

Additionally all Apps will not have access to the following personal details:

  • religious or political views
  • relationship status and details
  • custom friends lists
  • education and work history
  • fitness activity
  • book reading activity
  • music listening activity
  • news reading
  • video watch activity
  • games activity

 

Search

Tasks used for: Entering email or phone number in the search box to find a friend.

This function has now be disabled.

Call & Text

Tasks used for: Using Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android function to surface the most used contacts.

Facebook will delete all logs of Calls and Text messages older than one year to confirm that they do not collect the content of messages.

App Controls

Finally they will roll out an update to display a new button at the top of your news feed so you can easily see what Apps you have installed and be able to remove if you do not wish to use anymore.

 

So, as you can see Facebook are taking the Cambridge Analytica issue very seriously and in our opinion introduced some good updates. This might seem like it will be lots of changes for social media management Apps like GOYakka, however, we have some great new functions in development already which will help you to manage your Facebook accounts more easily.

Written by Stuart Cole

Stuart Cole has been running internet businesses since 1996 and has been concentrating on his popular group of Apps since 2015. A regular author on topics like social media, search engine optimisation and conversion rate optimisation.

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