Facebook Changes. Again.
Facebook is up to its old tricks again, changing things up and causing developers worldwide to scramble to see if the changes have any effect on their applications. The old norm for web development was that companies would come up with an idea, develop specifications, build, test, deploy and done. But if you want to sync up to Facebook, there are some new rules. Facebook rules that can change on a dime. Now your specifications can change overnight. Your applications that work today may not tomorrow.
What does this mean in the promotions world, where legal regulations and law make it vital that we have an online method of entry well planned out and documented in the Official Rules? It means we have to be able to react to changes and find solutions really quickly.
So what’s new this time?
Earlier this Week: Timeline Changes
Earlier this week there were reports that the Timeline layout was changing. People in New Zealand were seeing the disappearance of the icons under the large landscape photo on people’s personal pages. It turns out Facebook was testing the new look to see the response.
This is somewhat troubling as we count on the icons on our clients Facebook business pages to allow people to find their promotions. No word yet on if these icons will also disappear from business pages, or even if this layout change will be rolled out to all users. We are already working on a plan if they do, though, and we will be ready if it happens!
Today: Newsfeed Gets “Bigger”
Today Facebook announced they are making changes to the news feed layout, with the changes starting to roll out today. In our office that means everything stops until we figure out what this could do to our live applications.
From the announcement it looks as if it’s a new wider layout that will have bigger images and a bigger area for messaging. “Bigger” seemed to be the overall focus of the user experience.
Additional changes include more customization with multiple feeds. How do they know what to show us in the feeds? Apparently, they know because of what we liked in the past so they are going to show it you in your feeds. That means if you liked Miley Cyrus because you were trying to win tickets for your kids three years ago, guess what? You will get all the Miley you ever wanted in the new Music feed.
So what does this mean for our live promotions? It means larger icons needed for the photos we use when people share our applications. A relatively easy fix today.
It may also mean a new width for our apps but they didn’t mention that yet – the area of news feed is definitely getting wider though so I am sure that apps will widen as well.
Also Today: Newsfeed Consistency
The other big story of the day was that the news feed layout will be consistent on all devices – but they won’t be rolling this out to mobile and tablet until the next few weeks. (Whew!)
No word on if this will have any impact on the custom apps we build for our clients and being able to access apps on mobile (which you can’t now). Hopefully this will be something they roll out in the near future.
More to Come
Learning to roll with Facebook changes is something we have grown accustomed. Our reaction time to changes is swift because we stay abreast of what is coming and watch the “big” announcements as they are made.
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