Everything You Need To Know About Facebook Open Graph Actions

Facebook has been evolving into more of an operating system than a standalone website, but this hasn’t suddenly happened overnight.

Last night’s announcement about open graph actions really involved three incremental changes:

  1. Applications already in existence on the social network are upgrading with widgets providing variations on like, and the same goes for websites using Facebook plugins;
  2. Facebook is approving open graph applications faster, and
  3. Soon they will populate the right-hand column of the timeline profile.

Facebook’s developer dashboard still states that the open graph is in beta — meaning live testing — and includes a set of guidelines on how to get new actions approved. The criteria, quite simply is:

Your app must publish actions that are simple, genuine and non-abusive.

  • Simple. Actions must correspond to single verbs and objects must correspond to single nouns. We will reject apps that corrupt the structure of graph by adding poorly named actions and objects as well as apps publishing activity that appear to be requests.
  • Genuine. Your app must publish Open Graph actions that are based on actions that users take in your app.
  • Non-abusive. Do not mislead, confuse, or surprise users with unexpected posts. Action and objects must be well-formed and not violate our content policies.

Facebook also gives some good examples of what disqualifies an open graph action from getting approved:

  • Automatically publishing open graph actions on a timer. Actions should not be triggered based on time elapsing.
  • Posting multiple actions for the same real-world action. If you need to post multiple actions to generate the right timeline units, you must turn off feed stories for those actions (no_feed_story=1).
  • Using an object that is unrelated to the action (e.g., you would not drink computers).
  • Misleading users by publishing stories based on an action users did not take.
  • Violating our content policies (e.g., inappropriate actions or action/object combinations).
  • Changing links and titles of objects shown in profile units (by changing object properties after a story has been published).
  • Using poor grammar (e.g., incorrect action or object conjugations)
  • Compounding action types together, using adverbs, or adding adjectives to object types. You must formulate simple actions and objects.
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