From The Telegraph to TechChrunch to your Facebook news stream. The rumours are spreading. Fast.
According to some reports, Facebook has been in a “Lockdown”, working 24/7 on something secret. These rumours started a couple of months ago when Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted about rumours that Google is working on a social network to challenge Facebook called Google Me. The tweet has been taken down, video below.
The speculations that Facebook is planning something big caught the attention of the masses when Facebook started sending out the invitations for the event which said that the event is starting 10am on Wednesday and that lunch will be served, meaning that the announcement will take quite some time..
Rumours started escalating, bloggers started predicting, Facebook said nothing.
The main 2 rumours are:
1. Facebook is revamping the chat, adding support for video calls via Skype deal.
2. Facebook has a new design.
The more uncommon ones are:
1. Facebook is going public
2. The launch of Facebook Questions
3. Facebook phone
4. Facebook Photos
Below is a video of Kevin Rose talking about Google Me
TechCrunch is reporting today that Facebook has been on “Lockdown” for the past couple of months working on a major redesign.
The event scheduled for tomorrow and multiple reports of the said “Lockdown” appearing in the press from different sources means that they’ll be unavailing something big tomorrow. Some sources even say that it can be a video-calling feature added to their chat service (powered by Skype). In fact, some users are already seeing a revamped chat window moved over to the left
The deadline for enforcement of the new Facebook Developer Principles and Policies has passed and now all the application developers that violate those rules will be punished. The actions taken against the apps will range from simple warnings, suspension of certain functionality to the outright disablement of the app according to the “severity” of the violation, the developer’s history of compliance and the impact of the violation on the users of the application.
Added to this, as outlined in the Facebook Developer Roadmap, Developers will be able to obtain the users’ primary email addresses and the formatting of the canvas will change to better outline the brand of the application. To me this looks like Facebook is slowly “pushing away” the applications from Facebook.com to better highlight that they are the creations of third party developers, not Facebook itself.
Update: According to Facebook “The performance and volume of API calls has stabilized at close to normal level”.
The Facebook Platform is down again with the Platform Live Status page all in red. There have also been reports that the entire Facebook network was down as well.
FBML based apps are currently performing the worst and a small subset of canvas apps are not being redirected to their Callback URLs.
It seems that all this happened just after this week’s weekly code-push .
Facebook has just announced that the new Dashboard API is now available for testing. According to the dashboard roadmap the Facebook Dashboard API lets you integrate your application into the Application Dashboard or the Games Dashboard (depending upon the type of application you have). These dashboards help users discover and engage with your applications on Facebook. They display which application’s users and their friends recently used as well as any news your applications wish to communicate to users.
The Dashboard API integrates with the Games and Application Dashboard in two ways: It gives you the ability to post news items to a user’s dashboard, providing information to the user and giving the user the opportunity to take action. It lets you set a counter as a lightweight way for you to inform your users to take action within your application.
There will also be two types of news that the applications can post on to the dashboards – Global and Personal News Items. Global News Items will be visible to all of the users of the app, while the Personal News Items will be a way to communicate with only 1 user of the app.
The Dashboard API lets you set the counters that appear next to your application bookmark under the profile picture (if the user bookmarked the application) and in news items on the dashboard. The counter informs the user in a lightweight way to take an action in your application.
After you set the counter for a user, Facebook clears the counter when the user clicks your application’s bookmark. However, when the user visits your application’s canvas page, you must call dashboard.clearCount to reset the counter.
Also, in this week’s code push Facebook updated some API calls (events.invite, group FQL table), so that they can now work without session keys.
For app developers these changes will be very useful. Users won’t be able to hide information such as gender and friend lists (and other Publicly Available Information – PAI) from apps, they can’t opt out of the Facebook API (by the “Do not share any information about me” setting) anymore and even if a user hasn’t granted permission to any apps the PAI of the user will still be available through the friends of the user who use the application.
Facebook has just announced the formation of a Facebook Safety Advisory Board.
According to Facebook the Safety Advisory Board is “the latest step in its commitment to improve safety on Facebook and across the Web”. The Facebook Safety Advisory Board consists of a group of five leading Internet safety organizations from North America and Europe that will serve in a consultative capacity to the company on issues related to online safety. The five organizations on the board are Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI).
The board will come up with ways to better educate teachers, parents and teens about online safety and will address more issues regarding safety on Facebook.
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