Facebook's New Graph API

Friday Apr 23rd 2010 by Developer.com Staff
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Facebook's new Graph API is geared towards making it easier for third-party application developers to put data in and get data out of Facebook.

Facebook has officially launched its new Graph API - simplifying the development of third-party applications to interact with the popular social networking site.

Ars Technica's Ryan Paul has the skinny.

"When Facebook first began to make its platform accessible to third-party developers several years ago," Ryan explains, "the APIs were very limited and encouraged uses that would bring data in, but let very little of it out—it was largely a walled garden during those early stages of the platform's evolution."

But the new Graph API, or as Mark Zuckerberg calls it the "open graph," is intended to make it much easier for third-party application developers to put data in and get data out of Facebook.

Now Facebook is embracing open standards and a much improved API. Until now, the company has implemented a walled garden approach to access its data.

One big and important change is the use of OAuth 2.0. OAuth 2.0 is a much cleaner authentication mechanism, particularly easier when compared to Facebook's old MD5 hashing system.

"Facebook's move towards open standards and an improved API was driven internally by some key people that have joined the company over the past year," Ryan reported. "Facebook employs well-known standardista David Recordon, one of the authors of OAuth and Atom Activity Extensions."

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