Facebook Promises to Break Things Only Four Times a Year

Adam DuVander
Jan. 03 2013, 12:01PM EST

The world's largest social network gets a bad rap for changes to its Facebook API. Developers complain that their apps break and even called it the most broken API in a survey. Yet the company has worked to change that and today vowed to only announce "breaking changes" every quarter. You'll only need to scramble to fix your app four times per year.

The news was given top billing in Facebook's the latest announcement post:

In 2011, we committed to a 90 day breaking change policy, which provided developers with 90 or more days to update their apps. Today, we are excited to announce that we're going to start bundling breaking changes on a quarterly basis.

In the past, a developer impacted by multiple breaking changes may have needed to update their apps each month. Going forward, changes will be announced at the same time each quarter to make it easier for you to plan for changes and build higher quality apps.

The "operation developer love" posts began in 2011 as a way to communicate better with developers. Each post includes breaking changes, bug reports, bug fixes and sometimes new features. Now that the breaking changes are down to quarterly, expect those lists to get pretty long. Already some months were full of breaking changes.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.