Facebook Churning Out API Updates

Adam DuVander, October 22nd, 2009

FacebookIt’s a good time to be a Facebook developer, because the social network keeps adding new ways to interact with their Facebook platform. Along with the create application API we covered, there’s an improved events interface and the long-awaited ads API.

Facebook’s advertising system provides many ways to slice and dice the audience. However, it’s currently a bit of a chore to create more than a couple ads on Facebook.

Facebook ad targeting

Inside Facebook explains how the ads API is such an important change:

Until now, direct response advertisers using Facebook Ads have had no way to build tools to manage large volumes of ads and targeting combinations. With other major performance advertising platforms, like Google AdWords, large ecosystems of ad tools have been built to help advertisers spend more money more efficiently.

Because those tools have never existed for Facebook Ads, performance advertisers have had to either manage their Facebook Ads campaigns manually, or hack their own tools. Now, Facebook is testing simple yet powerful APIs that allow agencies and advertisers to create thousands of ads with different creative and targeting permutations and optimize bids in real time.

Naturally, if advertisers are able to scale up their ad creation, Facebook should see a healthy influx of ad dollars. But don’t look for the documentation on this API yet. It’s still being tested privately with a few ad agencies.

On the other hand, the new event API is ready for your code. Though it’s been around for over a year, it has just added a hook for event invitations. Now applications can perform every piece of an event: create, invite, edit and RSVP.

If event management isn’t your style, at the very least expect better integration with other online invitation sites. Mix in the create application API and you could see some fancy widgets that make it easy to promote events on your own site.

With a robust API, the possibilities for developers and users open up. It’s great to see Facebook continuing to expand its platform. What do you want to see next?

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.