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Facebook app review

Facebook app review

I think and hope this is a pretty basic question. so I am sorry if I should know the answer, but I cannot find it readily.
I have a very basic Facebook feed on a site using JFBConnect and a SC Social Stream module accessing a Facebook channel, having managed to set up a Facebook App even though I have no experience in API creation. This works but I was faced with App Review issues a while ago, but never finished jumping through all Facebook's hurdles. I now have a message from Facebook saying that on 4 September the app will no longer have access to the permissions or features "user_friends" and "Page Public Content Access".
However I have not been able to verify whether I need these or not, though it sounds like it (in regard to public content access).
Could you please advise if I do or not?
And if I do need to take further action, would you advise me to try to continue and complete the app review, or maybe create a new one? It was relatively easy at the time, and your online instructions were helpful, so I am wondering if starting afresh is the best way forward?
Many thanks, Nick

PS: I tried to use your Chat via Messenger service but it would not work. Do you have an alternative interactive support line, by phone or another chat channel?

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Re: Facebook app review

Nope, you don't need any of those permissions.

user_friends let's you peek at the friends of people that have authenticated on your site. This is one of many things that got Facebook in trouble since it let's people harvest vast swaths of data.

Page Public Content Access is also not used by JFBConnect. This would let you fetch the public feed of a Page you do *not* own (not the admin of).

For a Page you own, you need to have the manage_pages permission. That let's you pull the feed from any Pages the authenticator is an admin of. manage_pages does require App Review for it to function when the app is in Live (not development) mode.

I hope that explains.

As for Messenger, what wouldn't work about it? Any details you can give would be super helpful so we can look into it further. Support is handled through these forums or, now, messenger.

Thanks,
Alex

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Re: Facebook app review

Thanks Alex, that's reassuring! So I assume I can simply ignore all the warnings etc and the feed should not disappear on the deadline date.

Just one thing: if I wanted to check that I have manage_pages permission, could you remind me how I do this?

Cheers,
Nick

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Re: Facebook app review

Re. Messenger issue, I have just tried again and the errors that I was getting yesterday, are not being repeated and it appears that I am getting connected through to your chat service. I have not (knowingly) changed anything since reporting it faulty yesterday. Maybe something changed your end or re. FB authentication or something? I will try this route next time I need support though.
Thanks, Nick

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Re: Facebook app review

You can check what permissions you've been granted by going to the Facebook Developer Area, clicking into your app and going to the App Review -> My Permissions and Features menu area.

As for Messenger, yup, it seems like things are working on Facebook's end now. There's nothing we changed in JFBConnect, but certainly if you run into other issues, let us know as we'll gladly investigate. There's a thread about the Messenger issues below as well that you can follow in case other people report it or to get updates:
https://www.sourcecoast.com/forums/jfbc … ces#p65635

Thanks,
Alex

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Re: Facebook app review

Hello again and I am sorry to re-open the question about Facebook app review, but I have now had a further notification from Facebook saying that, despite *not* having to go through app review previously, I now need to do this to retain access to platform data for manage_pages permissions.

Would you kindly spell out how you interpret this, whether I can again ignore, and if not what to do, with what help/

Many thanks,
Nick

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Re: Facebook app review

It looks like they are requiring all apps to go through review for manage_pages now. If you use the Channels feature of JFBConnect, you'll need to go through the review process.

In general, that entails letting them know that you (the admin) are adding content to your Page from your website. You don't add content to general users Pages or pull in feeds from other Pages, just the ones you manage. Pictures of the JFBConnect admin area and/or a stream view of your page on the front end (if you use that feature) is suggested.

You can read more in our blog post Facebook's App Review Process Explained.

I hope that helps,
Alex

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Re: Facebook app review

Alex, thanks for that.

My App Review got stuck last time and I think I'll need two start again but I am about to go on vacation so don't have time right now.

If the deadline is reached and I lose manage_pages permissions, will a channel that was set up with this permission ages ago (just to present a very innocent Facebook feed on my web site via JFBC) disappear? I am hoping it might NOT unless/until I make any changes to the channel. My impression being that manage_changes was only needed whilst I was setting up this channel, and may not be needed operationally?

Cheers, Nick

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Re: Facebook app review

All good questions, Nick. All good questions. We can tell you what we think will happen, but Facebook is very opaque about a lot of these things and, unfortunately, we have to wait until whatever they announce happens to actually know how it affects things.

Your Channel in JFBConnect definitely won't go away. We store the information about the Channel in your database so you won't have to reconfigure JFBConnect. When the permission goes away, 1 of 2 things is going to happen:
* Nothing. Since JFBConnect already has the Page Details *and* you've approved the 'publish_pages' permission (which isn't going through the same change as manage_pages that we're aware of), things may just work. If you wanted to publish to a new Page, you would need to get the publish_pages permission.
* Publishing and Reading from your Page will stop working. Once you get approved for that permission, you'll need to authenticate on the front-end again and JFBConnect will get back to working as normal.

App Review is a big pain, we'll agree. However, we'd recommend starting the process for the manage_pages and publish_pages permission when you get a chance to ensure you have what you need for features and functionality to keep working properly.

I hope that helps!
Alex

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Re: Facebook app review

Yes, thank you Alex, that helps...

....but because this leaves me (and of course lots of others) uncertain until implementation, please could you provide an update when you have a more definitive answer, or post me to where I will be able to find further news of the definitive answer? As mentioned before I am going to be unavailable on the Facebook deadline day and may have to hurry this when I return.

Best wishes
Nick

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Re: Facebook app review

If things change drastically, we'll likely write up a blog post or even a newsletter. Many rollouts of changes (even if they have a specific date announced) actually happen over a matter of weeks and it's not always a binary "This broke, that works". Due to the rollout, what still works for us may have broken for some users and *will* break for us, eventually.

It's more than a bit annoying working with the review process, but we do what we can to stay on top of things and keep everyone aware. We do have many apps that we have setup to test with to try and get a feel for which way the tide is going (is this a good change or a bad one?), but even then, we miss things coming down the pike. One of our best resources is our users to report problems they encounter so we can investigate more. While we have tens of apps to test with, our user base is in the thousands, which is a much better sample size.

I hope that helps explain. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions, report any issues or provide any feedback!

Thanks,
Alex

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