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Facebook announces changes to the Facebook and Instagram API

Following up on the misuse of Facebook information by Cambridge Analytica , Facebook recently announced revisions to the way it handles data access, and third party apps interacting with its platform. In its newsroom release early this April, Facebook states the exact changes impacting third party access to user datasets for both Facebook and Instagram. Read more here

A few of these notable changes below:

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Facebook Groups

It is no longer possible to display content of any kind from a Facebook Groups, including member lists. All third-party apps using the Groups API will need approval from Facebook and an admin to ensure that accessing group content actually benefits the group. This will limit apps using group information only to approved developers. However, Facebook currently has temporarily halted the app review & approval process until further notice.

Facebook Events

Events API will require approval for use in the future. Developers can no longer access guest lists of people attending events, or posts in the event discussion/wall.

Facebook Pages

Pages API will only be available to developers providing “useful services”, and all future access will require Facebook approval. This brings a number of limitations for developers with apps that schedule posts or moderate comments.

Personal Information of Users

Previously, apps could access the names and profile pictures of members who post to your page. Now, Facebook will no longer allow apps to ask for access to personal information such as name, profile pictures, religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education and work history, fitness activity, book reading activity, music listening activity, news reading, video watch activity, and games activity.

Instagram

Instagram will immediately shut down part of its old platform API that was scheduled for deprecation on July 31st. The APIs for follower lists, relationships, and commenting on public content will no longer function. Likes and avatar images of people that comment on your photos are not accessible anymore.

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How does this affect PageFreezer service?

These limitations affect all vendors that collect Facebook and Instagram data. The company is now carefully reviewing every app interacting with the platform and deciding which developers get access to Facebook datasets. As for PageFreezer, here’s some insight into what will change:

1. Is PageFreezer still able to capture my Facebook and Instagram posts?

Yes, we can still capture your posts, comments, replies, photos, and videos on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, some information from people that respond to your posts will be limited as explained above.

2. Why can't PageFreezer archive this data anymore?

Facebook has limited access for third parties to access personal data as a result of the Cambridge Analytica breach. This impacts all vendors, providers, and apps that use this data including PageFreezer.

3. What about the Facebook archives that have been collected by PageFreezer in the past?

They are still intact and you can keep accessing them on the PageFreezer dashboard.

4. Why is Facebook limiting access to this data?

This is part of their program to provide a higher level of security to the personal information of their users.

5. Is there another way of collecting this data?

We're afraid not. Facebook has completely closed access to it for any party.

Stay tuned as we roll out more updates as they become available.

Learn more about social media arching here.

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