New Facebook Requests API Brings Less Flexibility, Ease of Use With Invitations

Facebook Invites Interface I am rather late on this news, but I haven’t seen anyone take this slant on it. As most of you are aware, Facebook has removed their notifications.sendRequest API method in favor of a more standardized invite interface for all their applications. This has several ramifications:

  1. You are pretty much forced to use FBML now if you want an invite interface. IMO this is a good thing, and especially good for Facebook, as it means they have more control over the content of the applications on their platform. You can say goodbye to most of the applications using iFrames in the future.
  2. All invite interfaces will pretty much look the same. Facebook has provided a few FBML tags that make creation of the friends list to select from, and form to send invites to very easy. I implemented this on all my applications last night and I have to say it’s quite slick. This also means more applications will have invite forms and will henceforth grow much faster. Expect to see many more invites in the coming weeks from various applications because of this.
  3. All your base belongs to Facebook. Facebook now has much more control over how invite forms look and are used. On the other hand, developers have much less flexibility on how the invites are used. I am having a huge headache trying to figure out a way to get an invite link below your friends profile pics if you have the app installed on a few of my apps. Maybe Facebook doesn’t want it. Some theorize it’s because many developers have abused this interface.

I have mixed feelings about this interface. On one hand, this makes it extremely easy to create an invite interface. On the other hand, this puts everyone at a level playing field, keeping some of the more creative developers out of the game. I’ve seen similar things with the limits Facebook puts on various API calls. I would love to have Facebook notify you of every new product on my SAC App, for instance. The Spammers have ruined it for some really good ideas to come forth.

In all, this is good for Facebook. More people will use their applications, a trend they seem to be moving towards lately. You see they’re putting a huge focus on this after opening their Apps Directory this last week. More exposure == more money for both Facebook and those developing their apps. In the end I think this is a good thing.

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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