Facebook Messenger partners with devs to provide free official coronavirus responses

Facebook is partnering with its developer community to provide free services to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The company will help government health organisations and recognised agencies like the UN to connect with Facebook’s developer community to scale their responses to the pandemic.

Facebook says its developer partners are offering their services to such organisations for free during this crisis to help tackle it and save lives.

Among the examples of...

Facebook issues update following cancellation of ‘in-person’ F8 event over coronavirus

Facebook has issued an update following its decision to cancel this year’s F8 conference over coronavirus fears.

F8 is Facebook’s annual event to update the world on its plans for world domination. The event is developer-focused but users also watch the conference to learn about all the new apps, features, and even hardware coming their way.

In a blog post, Facebook wrote:

“Given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve...

Developers can now access Twitter’s useful ‘Hide Replies’ feature

Twitter has opened up “Hide Replies” to enable third-party app developers to integrate this welcome new feature into their own software.

Hide Replies was rolled out worldwide last November but, as so many of the social network’s features initially, it was limited to Twitter’s own app.

The feature allows users to hide specific replies to their conversations. While these can be unhidden if other users choose, it helps to filter out online trolls aiming to...

TikTok releases SDK to help developers tap into the viral phenomenon

Viral hit app TikTok has released an SDK enabling third-party app developers to create and share to the short video service.

“The new TikTok SDK allows third-party apps an opportunity to extend their reach while giving users a wider selection of creative tools to help their videos match their vision. We’re excited to extend our creative offerings with our new developer program,” the company said in a blog post.

TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance and...

Instagram launches Basic Display API and will deprecate its predecessor

Facebook has announced on its developer blog that Instagram is launching the full Basic Display API and deprecating its predecessor.

The final permission, Basic Permission, is being migrated from the Instagram Legacy API starting today.

With the migration of this final permission, the Basic Display API is now able to do all the expected interactions with Instagram such as importing photos, connect to Instagram profiles, and more.

Facebook's Instagram team have also...

Facebook updates Graph, Messenger, and Marketing APIs to 4.0

Facebook has updated three of its most important APIs to version 4, bringing some important changes to be aware of.

While the version number indicates a large release, it’s worth noting that Facebook is transitioning to major numbers for all new versions. The change in numbering aligns the version numbers of Facebook’s SDKs with the version of the API.

Graph API 4.0

Pages API – Facebook now requires one of the following permissions for an app to access the...

Mozilla criticises Facebook’s political ad API as being ‘inadequate’

Privacy advocates Mozilla have called out Facebook’s political ad API as ‘inadequate’ and not working as it should.

Social media is a powerful tool, especially for those wanting to influence a massive number of people. The reach and potential anonymity of social media have led to huge disinformation campaigns often designed for political manipulation.

Intelligence agencies often point the finger at Russia for many of these disinformation campaigns. Infamous...

Twitter opens Developer Lab for testing new API features

Twitter has opened the doors to its Developer Labs where developers can test new API products from the social network before release.

Initially, Twitter is planning to focus on conversational data. This will be for academics and researchers who study interactions on the social network, as well as social listening and analytics providers that build products for other businesses.

Twitter says developers can provide feedback on what they like and dislike to help build ‘the...

Facebook will open Ad API to increase political transparency

Following increasing pressure, Facebook will be opening up its Ad API to increase transparency around how it serves political adverts.

A letter penned by Mozilla and its partners – which includes “technologists, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, and Facebook users” – demanded this very change. By opening the API, the coalition hopes tools can be made to analyse and counter ads used to influence politics.

Rob Leathern, Product Director at...

Twitter kills API access of apps used to buy followers

Twitter is finally tackling its problem of people buying followers by cutting off API access of apps claiming to offer such a service.

Three of the most notorious apps – Crowdfire, ManageFlitter, and Statusbrew – have been affected by Twitter’s clampdown.

Such apps follow thousands of users with similar interests in the hope some will follow back. The services often monitor those who do not follow and offer their user to unfollow them.

In a statement, a...