We’ve got some big news to share with you today:

We’ll be removing Facebook in FlowReader this week.

You may not have realized it, but on April 30, 2015 all apps that provide Facebook data to their users  will be automatically upgraded to the Graph API v2.0.

What does that mean exactly?

In this post, I’ll explain what these changes mean for users, apps that use Facebook data, and why we ultimately to decided that removing Facebook was the best option for FlowReader.

The Major Changes to Facebook’s Graph API

Here’s a rundown of the biggest changes that were announced at F8 (the Facebook Developer Conference) back in May 2014.

  1. Permissions: You will now be able to select and de-select which permissions you want to use when you decide to use an application.
  2. Access to Friends: Apps will need additional permission to access your friend list, and data will be limited to friends who have used the same app. In other words, we would only have access to data from friends who have also used FlowReader.
  3. User IDs: Facebook will no longer share user IDs between applications and instead issue application-specific IDs. This means that apps won’t be able to match users in their database with the data they get from Facebook.
  4. Anonymous Login: It’s not clear when, but at some point, you’ll have the option to login to sites and apps without sharing any personal information at all.

These changes were made to give users more control over their own data, which we support. It’s a great thing for users!  However, it also means that Facebook data is no longer going to be easy to share between applications.

Why We’re Removing Facebook

Along with the new changes to the Graph API, Facebook has also changed its process for reviewing and verifying applications who are allowed to get certain information. Facebook will no longer allow apps to access a Facebook stream if they are building an app on a platform where Facebook is already available.

Unfortunately, this means that FlowReader will no longer be able to get permission to access your news feed and the new restrictions will limit what Facebook features we’ll be able to develop in the future.

After some discussion, the team decided that our only option was to remove Facebook from FlowReader because we felt we’d no longer be delivering social updates that mattered to our users.

What to Expect in FlowReader

You’ll still be able to log in using your Facebook account, but FlowReader will look a little different once you’re in.

Here’s what will change:

  1. Your Home tab will only contain RSS items from your Reader and the latest tweets from your Twitter account. 
  2. The old Social section has been removed completely, and Twitter will be right below Interactions in the left side menu.

new flowreader dashboard


Image: Jeremiah Owyang

Have more questions or want to share your feedback with the team? 

Share with us in the comments or on Facebook. You can also tweet to us directly, @flow_reader