Facebook has made several recent announcements including the enabling of API error notifications in the Facebook Developer Alerts tool, a new video channel for developers and the first Developers Live event to take place on February 19th.
I thought the social network space was filled up by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, kind of like how online bookstores have been dominated by companies led by Amazon. Sure, there are new social network competitors, but we grok the beast. But just when LinkedIn seemed to define the boundaries of social networking, Instagram comes out of nowhere and suddenly we understand less than we thought. Far from set in its ways, of social networking is being rocked by waves of game changers. In an article in Fortune, HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes serves up 7 contenders to watch in 2013.
More often than not all it takes to start a revolution is somebody who is angry enough to change the status quo. Ever since the dawn of social media sites the predominant business model has been variations of the walled garden approach to content originally pioneered by America Online (AOL). Today that walled garden approach manifests itself in the form of APIs that have been locked down by social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Shoutlet, enterprise social marketing platform, has added a contact form API to its plethora of social media services. The API allows developers to gather contact information (e.g. data from an online sign up form) and automatically update the Shoutlet contact database with the pertinent information.
Facebook has just launched Flexible Sentences, a new feature that provides Facebook app developers the ability to control how Open Graph stories appear in Facebook Timelines.
The world’s largest social network gets a bad rap for changes to its Facebook API. Developers complain that their apps break and even called it the most broken API in a survey. Yet the company has worked to change that and today vowed to only announce “breaking changes” every quarter. You’ll only need to scramble to fix your app four times per year.
Remember when Mark Zuckerberg blamed the problematic old Facebook mobile app–dubbed “freakishly slow” by some–on “betting too much on HTML 5?” So does backend-as-a-service (BAAS) provider Sencha, and to rebut Zuckerberg’s assertion that using HTML5 was “one of [Facebook's] biggest mistakes,” Sencha built its own mobile webapp, Fastbook, to demonstrate that HTML5 is ready for prime time.
Moxie Software has released Engage+,”the first social chat app that leverages Facebook’s social graph leveraging public profiles to target social visitors with unique proactive offers and provide agents with a rich set of social data.” Until now, sales and customer service reps had access to limited customer data when interacting with customers via chat (e.g. customer name, purchase history, email, perhaps a few other data points). Engage+ utilizes Facebook’s social graph to further understand and engage customers during chat conversations (e.g. age, brand likes, friends, mobile usage, and many more data points). Deeper profiling during a customer interaction allows companies to produce customized offers pinpointed at specific customers.
Expion, a Social Media Management System (SMMS) company, specializes in helping companies manage their brand images on social networks, from Facebook to Youtube to Twitter, often relying on partners’ APIs to pull of some of their more interesting feats. Most recently, it was chosen by Google as a Google Plus API partner for the brand-focused Pages feature.
As a developer, you can figure out how to make your program connect to Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and Email. Or you can use the Embarke API and connect just to Embarke, a messaging platform that connects you to them all. You can skip learning the specifics of how to connect to each of them. The REST API’s website has a five minute tutorial video on how to use this gateway to its developer tools for social communications.