Facebook is continuing to tighten restrictions for third-party apps in the wake of Cambridge Analytica, and users will soon no longer have to worry about apps publishing to their timeline. On Tuesday, April 24, Facebook published a list of a dozen different changes to the Facebook and Instagram API that will limit what developers and third-party apps can do with integration in those social media platforms.
The new restrictions means that apps soon won’t be able to automatically post to a user’s timeline on their behalf. The permissions that allow apps to post on timelines will expire on August 1. Instead, apps that want to post on the user’s timeline will have to switch to the share prompt, which will show a preview of the post and require users to hit publish before actually appearing on timelines.
The changes also prevent third-party apps from RSVPing to a Facebook event. For publishing on behalf of users for Facebook Live, apps will now have to go through an approval process. Apps using Pages API for Live will also have to be re-approved.
Apps will also no longer have access to location data when images are tagged with a location.
Apps for creating targeted posts will also have more limited access to limiting posts by age and gender. In posts created through third-party apps, age maximums will no longer be allowed and age minimums will only be available for ages 13, 17, 18, 19 and 21.
In Instagram, third-party apps will only be able to see usernames and comment texts, not names and bios. The change began on Tuesday, April 24.
All of the changes apply to new apps immediately, while most of the changes give current apps until August 1 to avoid creating issues with the app’s functionality.
The API changes are just some of the adjustments Facebook has made since a third-party personality app sold user data to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook temporarily paused the process of approving new apps, then released a list of changes for third-party apps, including limiting access to personal data, event information, and group access. Third-party app access also now automatically expires for inactive apps after three months.
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