TECH: Facebook scandal impacts for analytics

In the wake of Facebook’s data privacy scandal, the social media giant has heavily sped up the deprecation of its older integration interfaces for Instagram as well as deprecating other end points and significantly limiting the data available from Facebook. These changes have particularly impacted use of functionality surrounding Facebook Events, Groups and Pages plus login and search.

Whilst taking rapid action to protect user privacy and security is admirable and long overdue, the fallout amongst the developer community from such sudden changes meant many apps dependent on these integrations encountered errors and lost data, throwing developers into unplanned maintenance.

At Dexibit, both our Facebook and Instagram integrations were impacted by these changes and were taken off line for repairs (since updated successfully). Some venues may find social media data gaps during this period and should contact their Dexibit data concierge to request a backfill if required.  

However, many organizations will also find other visitor and museum facing applications may be impacted by similar integrations, particularly related to events and ticketing. Additional tools such as social media management applications may also be impacted. Attractions with these integrations should undergo basic sanity checks to ensure these work as expected and in addition, future projects requiring social media integration will face new challenges to approval and timing.  

The primary changes executed by Facebook which may impact applications other than Dexibit include:

  • Login – use of ‘login via Facebook’ will now require a tighter review than the original process developed in 2014, with users’ personal information and activity not available and use limited to 3 months post last use
  • Events – use of the Application Programming Interface (API) will now require approval, with guest lists or posts not available
  • Groups – use of the Application Programming Interface (API) will now require approval, limited to what Facebook deems ‘useful services’
  • Pages – use of the Application Programming Interface (API) will now require approval, limited to what Facebook deems ‘useful services’

In addition, Facebook has rewritten its data policies and improved the user experience of user settings facilities to control data access.

See the original announcement from Facebook here: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/04/restricting-data-access/

For developer information, see:

Dexibit’s Facebook and Instagram integrations have since been updated, now working as usual.