new design – Stay N Alive

Facebook DNS Blunders Take Down Obama App

Picture 9.png

Just yesterday, I posted on how Facebook had seemed to deprecate the domain, the primary domain for all applications on the Facebook platform. I reported that it seemed to be up now, but some people are still not able to access the App according to reports in the Facebook developers forums. One such casualty is the Facebook Obama “Vote for Change” app, allowing users to register to vote, vote absentee, find polling locations, etc. With today being the deadline for Voter registration in many states, this doesn’t come as good news for the crucial Gen. Y crowd said to be much of the deciding factor for this election.

It appears that as I wrote earlier, the 20-50% reduction in app traffic may be due to a DNS issue. Some users are seeing the issue, and some aren’t. Where I’m seeing it now, it would appear that perhaps my DNS resolved, but others are still reporting it. After an entire weekend, there is still no word from Facebook on this issue.

Facebook Developers See 20-50% Drop From URL Change

Picture 8.pngFacebook developers are reporting 20-50% drops in their Application traffic due to an unannounced deprecation of the old URL by Facebook. Over the weekend, Facebook appears to have deprecated the domain, but some developers are reporting that users aren’t recognizing the new domain,, causing the drop in traffic.

The domain is the central location for all applications on Facebook. Developers are given a unique suffix to the domain, giving a unique location for every application on the Facebook platform. Facebook created the domain, to accommodate apps trying to test in the new design as it was in the process of being released. Now that all users should be transitioned to the new design, it appears that Facebook has decided that the two URLs are no longer necessary.

Facebook (perhaps not as often as Twitter) is known for changes like this. While it’s been awhile, the early days of the Facebook Platform were prone to frequent changes by Facebook with little notification by the company. For this reason, Facebook implemented a beta testing ground before pushing changes so bugs like this would be revealed, but it appears Facebook is not using this testing ground in all cases. As one developer put it, “I was planning to go on a sailing trip today, but when I noticed all the problems had to cancel that to fix all the absolute urls I had.” Unannounced changes like this, with little testing, are bound to cause developer frustration and angst as we’re seeing now.

Facebook has put in place a Status Feed to announce such things, and just last week announced that over the weekend the new “” would point to the same place as “”. Being a backend process, Facebook mentioned nothing about a deprecation of the domain. Also, any user that previously had an domain bookmarked will now be sent to a 404 not found page.

We have yet to hear an announcement by Facebook on this matter.

UPDATE: For some reason the link to the forums above has been removed and the post is gone. The text of the main link is below (written by crimson), followed by a long list of other developers seeing the same thing:

I’ve been doing some testing with the recent DNS errors and it seems that for most users, is broken. It’s sporadic though, and only affects certain user accounts at random times. I haven’t heard any complaints about being broken though, so I would suggest putting a message on your about pages asking users to go to instead of If you have any absolute links to especially in notifications, newsfeeds, or notifications, you should also get rid of those immediately since it will cause your users to end up on the new domain, which will rewrite all urls from to, and can lead to further problems.

It’s so annoying that Facebook decided to do this over the weekend, which means we have to work also on the weekends. I was planning to go on a sailing trip today, but when I noticed all the problems had to cancel that to fix all the absolute urls I had. I found I’m losing anywhere from 20-50% of new users simply because of this issue. It also seems that at times only is broken, and not Hmm, talk about double-standards.

UPDATE 2: Facebook appears to have fixed the problem – when I checked today, was again correctly redirecting to

UPDATE 3: It appears other developers are still seeing the issue, still no word from Facebook:

Is Your Company Having Success on the New Facebook Design?

I am looking for examples of companies and developers actually having success in the new Facebook design. If your app, or the app of someone you know on the Facebook platform is having proven results as a result of the new Facebook design, or if your traffic has not decreased from it, I want to hear from you. Those that respond have the chance of being featured here or as a guest post on Please feel free to share in the comments or send me an e-mail at with your stories. I want to hear from you! (And, please share this with others you may think would be in the know – this is a great opportunity for some exposure for your Facebook app!)

5 Features You’ll Like in the New Facebook Design

facebook_pic.pngI track the Facebook Forums pretty regularly to make sure I’m getting all the info I need, and that I’m able to help on particular issues as I have time to help. One common thread I’ve seen throughout the last week is the continued complaints about the new Facebook design and how people don’t want to be forced into change. I was among the complainers myself at one point, but as Facebook has improved the site since they first allowed people to opt into the new design, I have really grown to like the new features Facebook provides. Here are 5 of my favorite features:

1. The Live Feed

Just about a week ago, Facebook launched a completely live Feed, that automatically refreshes with every update of every friend in your friends list. As new updates come through, you can comment and interact with the items that post to the feed, encouraging much more interactivity between friends. Facebook could definitely improve this more by opening up the Feed to third parties as Twitter,, or FriendFeed do, but it’s a step in the right direction, and Facebook allows you to peek into the lives of those you associate with much better than Twitter or FriendFeed do.

Picture 2.png

2. Feed Filtering

Also a recent update to the new design, users can display only the top stories, only the status updates, only the photos, or only the posted items of their friends. In addition, users can filter by only posts from applications they have added. This also includes Pages, Groups, and Events. Or, you can pick a specific Friends List (You are organizing your friends into Friends lists, right?) and filter by only those friends within a particular list. This makes sorting through all the information much better to only find the information you are looking for. Me, I like the firehose and I generally turn to the live feed.

app_3_6628568379_796.gif3. Facebook for the iPhone

One thing the new design has enabled is a better architecture for handling better design on mobile devices such as the iPhone. The new Facebook iPhone app enables you to very easily set your status, browse what your friends are up to, post and browse through photos, look up a friend’s cell phone number, and more. Better yet, there’s an even better version in the works that is said to do things like allow tagging of individuals in photos right on the iPhone.

4. Application Tabs

If the developers of your favorite apps are savvy, they can enable their application to be added as a tab to your Facebook profile. This enables your friends to have an additional, even more expanded view of you when they browse your profile. For instance, if someone visits my profile, they can view all the songs I like via the iLike tab on my profile, or look at which of my friends are also family members of mine. This could also be a useful area for a resume, or any other useful information you want to share about yourself. Check with the developers of your favorite apps to learn if they provide this functionality or not.

5. Pages are no longer cluttered with Applications

Perhaps my favorite part of the new design is that it is much cleaner than the previous design. There is much more order and structure to it all. Now, the majority of your application boxes are saved to the “Boxes” tab, with the exception of a few that have adopted to the new design. You can always move an application out of the Boxes tab by clicking on the edit pencil icon and selecting “move to wall tab”. However, it appears Facebook is trying to give users more choice in this – now you can choose much easier and better ways of organizing your profile so others can learn what you want them to know about you.

The new design is definitely a big change, but I think as people spend some time in it they will find that it is actually an improvement, and will allow for even greater control and flexibility than it used to be. I suggest you give it a chance, play around with it and respond below with your own favorite features!

Facebook to Launch to All Next Week

facebook_pic.pngFacebook just released a post stating that they will be gradually releasing the new design to all over the next week. This announcement comes late, as I had originally announced the new design to go out to all on August 27.

The new design has been both loved and hated by many, but has shown significant improvement since launch. It will be very interesting to see the response as all 100+ million of their users embrace the new design. Most of all, this should come as welcome news to developers, as they no longer have to support more than one design in their applications. All developers should now be able to start planning fully for the new design.

In addition to this news, it will also mean that permanent session keys will be dissolved (one week after the rollout), meaning it will be harder for external websites to log users into Facebook to authenticate and communicate with the API. It will be interesting to see, as they roll this out, if they also introduce Facebook Connect live to all next week to resolve this problem fully.