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.

Instagram API upgraded to Facebook Graph

The API behind Instagram has been upgraded to Facebook’s Graph API — bringing new features and (hopefully) less Bieber nudes.

Following the upgrade, developers can utilise the existing Graph API SDKs and monitor activity using its dashboards. Developers also have access to Facebook’s technical support.

The Instagram Graph API now allows businesses on the platform to see more information about the performance of their organic content via...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Platforms.

Facebook appears to reject more code from its female engineers

A former engineer at Facebook used data compiled over five years in a bid to prove there's a gender bias at the social networking giant against its female employees.

The compiled data shows female engineers’ code being rejected 35 percent more than males during the review process. While this alone rings some alarm bells, the fact that females waited for 3.9 percent longer on average for their code to be reviewed, and received 8.2 percent more comments, just adds evidence to the bias claim.

Facebook...

By Ryan Daws, 03 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Industry.

Facebook launched Android UI and VR frameworks during its F8 developer conference

Social behemoth Facebook used its F8 developer conference to launch two frameworks – one for Android UI, and the other for VR.

Litho

Facebook’s internal framework to build efficient UIs on Android is called Litho, and the company has been talking it up since last October (much to the frustration of the rest of us outside the company without access to it.)

The company built its own framework after finding Android’s standard tools for building scrollable lists were lacking for the complexity...

By Ryan Daws, 19 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Facebook, VR.

Twitter launches Periscope Producer API to counter Facebook Live

As it continues its fight against rivals to be the source of real-time news, Twitter has launched the Periscope Producer API which allows media publishers to broadcast live on the platform using their own professional equipment.

News of the impending API release was first reported by The Information but without an exact release date or much in the way of details. Facebook launched a similar API last April as part of its ‘Facebook...

By Ryan Daws, 21 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook.

Facebook employs client-side ranking for improved efficiency

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/HStocks)

Facebook's core business surrounds the News Feed and the content it delivers to users, so the social giant is making it more efficient through employing client-side ranking. 

When it comes to seeing content – you want it fast – and so do your users if they're going to stick around. You may not have control of their internet speeds, but that doesn't prevent...

By Ryan Daws, 21 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Mobile.

Facebook introduces new embedded video player API and support for oEmbed standard

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/tanuha2001)

In order to help developers and publishers make their websites more social and engaging, Facebook has introduced a new embedded video player API and support for the oEmbed standard. Facebook users interact with videos, articles, posts and photos on the social networking site on a daily basis.

Facebook had launched an interactive embedded video player earlier in 2015 and the...

By Developer, 17 December 2015, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook.

Facebook unleashes React Native for Android

Earlier in the year, Facebook made their React Native framework open-source for iOS to ensure developers can build applications using modern web techniques without having to battle with their existing frameworks. Zuckerberg's social giant has now taken the steps for Android developers, which has allowed them to speed-up the process of building sophisticated native applications. 

React Native started as an internal tool...

By Ryan Daws, 15 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Facebook, Languages.

Facebook's user-manipulating A/B testing under investigation

Facebook's testing of emotion-manipulation using their unaware users has caught the attention of a UK regulator. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into whether Facebook violated data collection laws during their study.

In one of the tests, Facebook removed positive posts from thousands of users and measured whether the amount of negative posts grew as an impact. Can you imagine if a person suffering from depression goes on Facebook to be filled with...

By Ryan Daws, 02 July 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Facebook, Testing.