Facebook reports it has cut off access to its API platform for hundreds of thousands of inactive apps that were not submitted for review by the August 1 deadline.
App developers received a reminder last month that any apps using the following APIs had until August 1 to resubmit their app for approval under the new app review policy:
- Facebook Login outside of email and default (any apps or websites that allow users to sign in using their Facebook account).
- Pages API.
- Groups API.
- Events API.
- Messenger API.
- Instagram API.
- Business Manager API.
Facebook says that any current active apps that have not been submitted for review should be submitted now and that it is proactively queueing up apps for review to make sure all undergo the new app review process.
“Where we need more information, developers will have a limited amount of time to respond. If we don’t hear back within that timeframe, we will remove the app’s access to APIs that require approval,” writes Facebook’s VP of product partnerships, Ime Archibong, on the company’s news blog.
Any developers that do not respond to requests for more information within the time frame provided by Facebook will have their access to the API platform removed. Facebook says apps will not lose access to APIs while they’re in the queue, as long as the developer complies with Facebook’s platform policies.
In addition to clearing its system of inactive apps, Facebook has officially deprecated its Publish permissions for apps — a tool that allowed apps to publish posts to Facebook as the logged-in user. (An example would be a game like “Candy Crush” posting the user’s game score on the user’s Facebook page.) Facebook says 60,000 apps will lose access to the Publish permissions feature as of today. It did make exceptions for a few categories of developers, granting six-month and 12-month extensions to give more time for hardware updates to apps with long product lifecycles.
“These developers will be managed closely by our partnerships team and will need to confirm that they comply with all our Platform Policies,” writes Facebook on its Developers blog regarding the apps given extensions for Publish permissions.
After suspending Cambridge Analytica for buying and using Facebook user data from an app developer, Facebook temporarily halted app reviews to get a handle on what information developers could access through its API platform. The company eventually reopened app reviews with tighter rules around the user information available to apps and has continued to refine what data it shares with developers. In May, Facebook confirmed it had suspended 200 more apps for possible misuse of data.