Facebook now allows developers to compete with its own features

Facebook has removed a controversial policy which prevented developers from building features that compete with its own.

Prior to today, Platform Policy section 4.1 stated: “Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.”

Considering how often Facebook is seen to borrow ideas from the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, and more, it was a policy always frowned upon by developers.

And Facebook enforced it.

Vine was one high-profile casualty of Facebook’s policy. The once...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Platforms.

Facebook is using AI to help developers track down bugs

Facebook is releasing an AI-powered tool called SapFix which aims to help software developers track down pesky bugs in their code.

SapFix detects errors in code and suggests possible fixes to developers. Currently, it fixes bugs spotted by Sapienz – a software testing tool by Facebook – but the company promises it will be able to find errors in any code.

The AI works by rolling back the code which has caused an...

By Ryan Daws, 14 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Facebook, Testing.

Facebook makes the UK its largest engineering base outside the US

London is now Facebook’s largest software engineering base outside the United States following another huge investment in the UK.

Seven months after taking a large site in west London, Facebook has leased 600,000 sq ft at three buildings in King’s Cross.

The buildings can provide employment for 6,000 employees, offering a significant boon to the economy.

Steve Hatch, Facebook’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, said:

“The UK is one of the best places in the...

By Ryan Daws, 24 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Industry.

Facebook tightens security of some APIs in platform changes

Amid the continued fallout after Cambridge Analytica took advantage of Facebook’s APIs, the social media giant is making several platform changes.

For anyone who’s been living under a rock, election data firm Cambridge Analytica partnered with an app which used prior versions of Facebook’s advertising API to collect data on at least 87 million users without their consent.

Investigations...

By Ryan Daws, 03 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, API, Facebook, Platforms.

Facebook leaked developer reports to external app testers

Facebook’s woes over its handling of user data continue as it admits to leaking private information to external app testers.

The company accidentally sent analytic reports intended for developers and their direct employees to external app testers.

None of the emails contained personal information, but they did contain data which should be kept private to the developer such as views, average users, and other information which could be especially useful to a competitor.

Fortunately, only a small...

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Development Tools, Facebook, Industry, Platforms, Testing.

F8 2018: Roundup of Facebook’s developer conference

The first day of Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference has concluded and we’ve rounded up all the most notable announcements from the gathering in San Jose, California.

This year’s show is the first since the world’s largest social network came under fire for allowing Cambridge Analytica and other companies unprecedented access to user data, which may have been used to influence democratic decisions.

In the wake of the fallout, Facebook made changes to its platform to better...

By Ryan Daws, 02 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Facebook, Platforms.

Firefox foils Facebook data-flinging with new Mozilla container extension

If you’re worried about what data Facebook may or may not be collecting after the Cambridge Analytica revelations, the good people at Mozilla have a workaround.

Facebook Container Extension, an extension of Firefox’s multi-account containers, enables users to browse Facebook while isolating identity into a separate blue tab, meaning users can play all the quizzes they like – this reporter assumes...

By James Bourne, 28 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ethics, Facebook.

Google Researcher: Don’t work for Facebook in AI if you have a conscience

Google researcher François Chollet believes anyone with a conscience should not work for Facebook in AI.

While keeping in mind that Google is very much a competitor to Facebook, and is no stranger to criticism itself, Chollet brings up some interesting points about ethics in regards to AI and its use to influence — or rather, exploit — people.

In

By Ryan Daws, 23 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Facebook, Platforms.

Facebook redefines time (sort of) to help sync video frame rates

Minutes, seconds and milliseconds aren’t quite enough for Facebook – at least when it comes to synchronising video, anyway. The social giant has announced the launch of Flicks, a unit of time which can more easily subdivide media frame rates and sampling frequencies.

The unit – named Flick as a semi-portmanteau of ‘frame tick – is defined in C++ and represents 1/705600000 of a second. A flick is the smallest unit of time which can successfully represent a single frame duration...

By James Bourne, 23 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Testing.

Facebook’s AR Studio opens to all developers

Facebook has opened its AR Studio tool so any interested developer can now build augmented reality experiences.

AR Studio was first announced back in April at Facebook’s F8 developer conference. The tool enables developers to build experiences for Facebook Camera.

Facebook is attempting to use third-party developers to help close the augmented reality gap with rival Snapchat. AR Studio contains...

By Ryan Daws, 13 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Facebook, Mobile, VR.