BBVA API Market
Facebook application developers are in luck because, for the first time, Mark Zuckerberg' social network has created an exclusive portal for them: the Facebook Developers Site This new website offers renewed services, such as documentation on APIs and software development kits (SDKs) to create apps for iOS, Android or web environments. In addition, there are also tools, dashboards and resources to manage all applications.
The new design will help developers in tasks such as:
Managing the apps and settings of Facebook integrations.
Navigating through documentation.
Sending applications to the App Center.
Finding and reporting errors with faster feedback.
Being aware of the latest updates and news, featured on the site.
But before you start to create a Facebook application you should be aware of the main resources available:
The Graph API: This is the main API offered by Facebook. It’s based on HTTP and with it you can create posts, upload photos and retrieve messages, among many other things.
Facebook Query Language (FQL): This language allows using a SQL-style interface to query the data displayed in the Graph API. In fact, it provides advanced features not available in the graphics API.
Social Plugins: These plugins allow you to integrate typical Facebook buttons such as 'Like', 'Send', 'Share' and sections for comments or recommendations.
Now you can embed videos
In late 2013 Facebook also made another exciting announcement for developers: it’s now possible to embed videos in the social network's App Center. This allows developers to illustrate their apps or video games with videos instead of static images, which contribute poorly to provide information about applications. In this sense, the social network itself states that "videos will automatically start playing without audio when people land on your App Details page on Facebook.com, giving them a way to instantly experience your game."
But, how does it work? It's not very complicated. You just have to upload your videos to Facebook Dashboard through the App Details tab. The same as it happens with images, Facebook will have to approve the video. Once approved, the video should be visible to everybody on the application's page.
Facebook is 'mobilized'
With all these new features, if you've already decided to create applications for Facebook maybe you should also know that the social network is promoting the development of apps for mobile devices. Facebook is realising that mobile SDKs are having a great impact among developers. Hence, it's constantly innovating in this direction.
Proof of this is the recent acquisition of the Indian company Little Eye Labs, specialized in the analysis of Android mobile applications. With this purchase Facebook wants to take the development of mobile applications to the next level, by improving the performance of applications already integrated in the social network.
Besides, when last year it introduced a new platform for mobile devices, Facebook announced it was making it easier to implement the Open Graph API on mobile platforms. It also launched a new version of its development kit for Apple devices: Facebook SDK 3.5 for iOS. This strategy of helping developers to integrate Facebook in a variety of mobile platforms has been enhanced with the announcement of a new partners programme.
According to Facebook, over 81% of the 100 best-selling iOS apps and 70% of the 100 top-grossing Android apps integrate with Facebook. "We’re excited to see even more high quality mobile apps integrate with Facebook to engage with our 680 million mobile users,” stated the company.
These are two of the main advantages of creating applications for this social network: you have the possibility to reach its millions of users and your app can spread at great speed. We have a good example in the popular game Candy Crush, with already 150 million users. The decision is now in your hands!
In a connected world, APIs are the glue that keeps all the parts that form our day-to-day lives in place. The same way the power of glue depends on the material it is used on and the knowledge of its properties, APIs are only as useful as their documentation allows for.
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