Facebook Open Graph Timeline: Get in on the Actions

Adam DuVander, January 17th, 2012

FacebookAfter four months, Facebook is set to open its timeline actions to developers this week, according to AllThingsD. The feature is an addition to the Facebook Graph API that allows developers to assign verbs for actions users perform within applications. For example, how users now “like” things, they’ll also be able to “read” articles, “play” games and “listen” to music. I would expect many, many actions to be submitted to Facebook for approval, especially related to game-specific acts. It’s too early to tell how closely the social network will watch its pending list of actions, though there’s a clear approval process.

As AllThingsD notes, these features require the Facebook Timeline, which is available for all users, but not yet required:

The company told developers in late December that since its Timeline profile design was being rolled out worldwide, Open Graph Actions would start being approved in January.
Currently, Facebook Timeline is available to users on an opt-in basis. At some point soon — perhaps as early as this week — Facebook will start requiring users to migrate to the new design.

Facebook has said it will not approve apps that weren’t part of Facebook’s September launch until the Timeline is available to all users. However, there is a process to submit your actions for consideration.

The actions approval steps have been in place since September. With the opening of timeline looming, developers who want in on the actions should go through the simple process, especially for existing applications with potential action.

Facebook provides some rules for actions to follow:

  • 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.

Despite a fairly short list of rules, there will certainly be gray areas and upset developers. It appears that Facebook simply has the best interest of its timeline in mind, but part of that may mean disallowing actions similar to its own “like,” or giving partners exclusive access to some verbs. We won’t know how open the Open Graph is until Facebook starts approving and rejecting actions.

The timeline isn’t just available via API, it also uses APIs. There is a map-centric view that is built on the Bing Maps API. However, thanks to Facebook’s special arrangement with Microsoft, Bing Maps are styled differently on Facebook.

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12 Responses to “Facebook Open Graph Timeline: Get in on the Actions”

January 17th, 2012
at 8:55 pm
Comment by: Dave Reebok

This will be yet another source of endless unwanted noise spamming up our newsfeeds, im really glad i have the FB Purity browser extension installed, as it lets me filter out such rubbish and uneccessary junk, if you wanna try it too, you can get it here: http://www.fbpurity.com

January 18th, 2012
at 7:01 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Facebook, Amazon and 13 New APIs

[...] Facebook announced 60 approved partners for its Open Graph, which allows them to add actions to the Facebook Timeline. Amazon also added a new API to its cloud offerings, a homegrown NoSQL database. That was among the [...]

January 19th, 2012
at 2:35 am
Comment by: Today in APIs: Facebook, Amazon and 13 New APIs – - API MarketingAPI Marketing

[...] Facebook announced 60 approved partners for its Open Graph, which allows them to add actions to the Facebook Timeline. Amazon also added a new API to its cloud offerings, a homegrown NoSQL database. That was among the [...]

January 23rd, 2012
at 10:06 pm
Comment by: Mukit Al Faruk Sakib

Give Me Facebook Timeline.

February 15th, 2012
at 6:03 pm
Comment by: Facebook Takes Credit for Pinterest Growth

[...] from the dominant social network. In a new post, Facebook suggests it’s Pinterest’s inclusion in Facebook Timeline that is driving its [...]

February 20th, 2012
at 10:54 am
Comment by: Facebook Social Shopping Comes With “Want” and “Own” Actions

[...] to approve additional “actions,” verbs that let users go beyond Like. Developers can use Facebook timeline actions via the Facebook Graph API, but only if approved by the social network. Social shopping platform [...]

February 23rd, 2012
at 4:53 pm
Comment by: How Facebook is Reviewing Open Graph Applications

[...] has published an update on submissions to its open graph actions, which lets developers include their own “verbs” in Facebook Timeline updates via the [...]

March 7th, 2012
at 6:28 pm
Comment by: Today in APIs: Apple Maps, Facebook Clarifications and 14 New APIs

[...] be leaving, but this one we could have guessed. Facebook clarifies the flow of submissions to its open graph actions feature. Plus: Amazon DynamoDB expansion, Gnip on data and 14 new [...]

March 14th, 2012
at 3:40 am
Comment by: Pinterest, la nuova principessa dei social network? | digitnut.com

[...] ha già rilevato di ritenersi il fattore cruciale nella crescita di Pinterest, grazie all’inclusione nella sua [...]

April 19th, 2012
at 9:28 am
Comment by: Today in APIs: Yahoo “Molests” Facebook, Don’t Build APIs and 10 New APIs

[...] reads the ZDNet headline. The trouble all stems from Facebook’s social reader, part of the Facebook Open Graph Actions initiative. Several sites have this, including the popular Guardian app, installed over 4 million [...]

September 13th, 2012
at 9:52 pm
Comment by: Facebook が Open Graph アクションをアップデート « Agile Cat — in the cloud

[...] has published an update on submissions to its open graph actions, which lets developers include their own “verbs” in Facebook Timeline updates via the Facebook [...]

October 11th, 2012
at 5:02 am
Comment by: Facebook API Dropping “Post to Wall” Immediately

[...] into a user’s page: through built-in actions. The company will no longer approve apps using custom Facebook actions, a pretty big departure from where it appeared the company was going a year [...]

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