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Here Are All the Changes Facebook Has Made Since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

As a direct result of the Cambridge Analytica user information scandal, Facebook announced plans to restrict data access on their platform. In what Facebook promises will be "many changes" in the coming months, the platform started by cutting off API access to Events, Groups, Pages, and Instagram for new developers. If a new developer wants to gain access to these APIs, they must first submit a request for a formal app review.


Part of these API changes is a new access token requirement for app developers. The new rules require user access tokens to be renewed every 90 days. For example, if you use your Facebook account to make dinner reservations on OpenTable, that requires a Facebook token. These tokens can only be renewed with the consent of the user using the app.

Facebook also announced that they will make changes to the following features:

  • Search and Account Recovery: Facebook is suspending the feature that allowed you to search for people via phone numbers and/or email addresses. This is to help prevent malicious people from scraping public profile information if they already have your contact details.
  • Call and Text History: For users who use Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android, this is an opt-in feature that puts the people you most frequently communicate with at the top of your contact list. Facebook uses call and text history data to make these determinations. Now Facebook will only upload the information needed for this optional feature, and no other broad data — such as the times that calls take place — will be collected. All logged data needed for the feature to work will be removed from its servers after one year.
  • Data Providers and Partner Categories: Facebook will shut down its Partner Categories product. As we reported on March 28, 2018, this allowed third-party data providers to offer audience targeting directly on the platform.
  • App Controls: On April 9, 2018, Facebook started showing people what information they've shared with third parties through apps. Users can also check to see if their information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.

You may have seen this app control at the top of your Facebook News Feed recently.

What Do These Changes Mean for You?

In the short term, expect bugs around any app you use that uses permission settings from Facebook. This could be anything from Spotify to Tinder, the latter of which actually went down for a few hours after the API changes were pushed live.

For developers, this means even more red tape to gain access to Facebook's platform, which could cause some features and products you use every day to be shut down temporarily — or even permanently.

In the long term, expect more changes like this to be rolled out by Facebook and other social platforms. While these privacy changes may temporarily upset your user experience, they're designed to protect your information so it's (hopefully) never compromised again. The best thing you can do in the meantime is take proactive steps to protect your own data.

Facebook makes a lot of algorithm and platform updates, sometimes daily. At RebelMouse, we keep track of them so you don't have to. You can find a timeline of 2018 updates here. We do the same for Google as well.

How to Include Interactive Elements in Posts

Enhance your articles with rich and creative media

Every article is a fresh chance to grab new readers and nurture loyal followers. This is why we give creators every opportunity to build content rich with media elements that enhance every reader's experience.

Add More Layers to Your Content

You can easily add interactive elements, like charts, to posts on our platform. For example, if you need to embed iframe code into a post, this can be done via our Add Media Bar. To do so, click the code icon (< >):

A text box will appear so you can insert your code:

Embedded Code Across Platforms

One important thing to keep in mind is that Google AMP, AppleNews, and Facebook Instant Articles will not always support embedded code. So if you use an iframe, it's best to turn off distribution to those channels for that particular post. If you have a lot of posts that require embedded code, this could be problematic for growth across those important platforms.

If you do want to use an iframe on a post destined for Google AMP distribution, it can be possible if the iframe is not at the top of the page or within the first 75% of the viewport when the page is scrolled to the top (whichever is smaller). AMP is a fast technology designed for mobile users and iframes are loaded using arbitrary timing that AMP's technology cannot ensure. For this reason, it's suggested that iframes be included in places that are not visible by users upon load.

If you have an article that needs to include an iframe at the top of the page, or within the first 75% of the viewport, AMP can be turned off for that individual article within Entry Editor.

If you don't need an interactive chart to be interactive in nature, can turn it into an image and upload it directly to your post. This way it will work on all platforms, including Google AMP, Apple News, and Facebook Instant Articles. This option, when possible, is ideal to ensure you're optimized for page speed.

Take Advantage of Shortcodes

Another great way to embed media is through our shortcodes functionality. Click here to learn more about shortcodes. Shortcodes can also inserted using the Add Media Bar. Click the brackets icon ([ ]) to choose the shortcode you want to use.

Here's an example of a chart on an article page that's been inserted using a shortcode:

If you have any questions about how to add interactive elements to your content, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Shortcodes Dashboard: Dynamic Media in Just a Few Clicks

Create multidimensional content with easy-to-find shortcodes

We believe static media is dead, and that every piece of content should be multidimensional and engaging. This is why our platform enables creators so they can add dynamic media to their content in easy and efficient ways.

One simple way to add interactive content to any post is through the use of shortcodes. Shortcodes are small snippets of code that are easier to remember than longer sequences. They typically will activate a feature or embed media into an article.

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