Facebook Lets Apps Post Locations And Tag Friends

It’s all about location and the company you keep. And now that’s true for third-party applications on Facebook.

Facebook is allowing developers of third-party applications to include tags of friends and locations.

The same functionality Facebook users can add to their status updates can now be added to news feed posts originated through apps.

Facebook users benefit by being able to add location and information via a single post.

All of this is made possible by Facebook releasing several new application-programming interfaces, enabling developers to set locations and tag friends in their apps’ Facebook posts, as well as improving the ability to search for places and read posts with location.

Facebook Product Manager and Gowalla Founder Josh Williams told TechCrunch that tagged posts from third-party apps were previously “dumbed down due to limitations of our API,” but the changes Facebook introduced will allow posts from apps to be tagged with places or exact GPS coordinates, rather than appearing as static links.

Williams added that Facebook “wanted to figure out how to clean up [third-party app posts] so they won’t be treated as second-class citizens and can shine in their own glory. This announcement is a pretty big step in the right direction of bridging that gap. Still, there will be further improvements in the future.”

TechCrunch also pointed out that the improved read API allows developers to pull the coordinates of users’ Facebook friends based on their posts from Facebook or any other app that supports location, turning Facebook into a hub for location-based data.

Facebook explained in a post on its developer blog:

The most engaging stories often capture where you are, who you’re with, and a photo to show what happened. Today we’re introducing several improvements to the Facebook platform that allow people to do all of the things they can do in a status update — including adding friends and location — directly from the apps they’re using. For example, an app used to share your favorite meals can now make it possible to add where you ate and who you were with. These features give developers the tools to build more robust apps that help people to fill out their timelines with more detailed moments.

To enable these features, the following APIs and documentation are now available:

We have added familiar controls for managing tags. New users select the audience they would like to share their app activity with in the app permissions dialog. Users can choose to feature, hide or route these stories for tag review.

Developers working with the open graph can now build apps that display large user generated photos and playback video in news feed and timeline.

  • User generated photos – can be attached to actions and shown in a large format in news feed and timeline when the user_generated property is set
  • Inline video playback – is supported in news feed and timeline when using the og:video tags on an object

Readers: Will the ability to post information on location and friends directly to Facebook via apps simplify your sharing experiences?

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