Facebook announced a major change to Facebook apps — the social network company is launching a major redesign to the Canvas Page, including a live ticker of real-time game related updates to keep the users constantly engaged and updated with their friends’ activity on apps and games as they play.
Canvas Pages, for those unaware, are the “blank canvas” that apps get to occupy on Facebook.
With 200 out of 750 million users playing games on Facebook monthly, games are definitely one of the social network’s core strengths and design adjustments are a key step towards keeping users hooked.
On the top right of every Canvas Page, now show the bookmarks for your top apps and games for quick re-engagement. The red counters on the bookmarks notify users of outstanding Requests 2.0 related requests for your apps and encourage them to respond.
A live ticker below the bookmarks shows real-time app and game activity from a user’s friends to make. Facebook says “We automatically generate ‘playing’ and ‘using’ stories in the ticker when friends use an app or play a game respectively helping users re-engage and discover new games and apps that their friends are using. These are generated for apps that have enabled Social Discovery in their Developer App settings.”
New Graph APIs for achievements and scores let you publish stories for user’s achievements, passing friends’ scores, or leaderboard movement to make game play more competitive, social and exciting for your users.
You now have the option to expand the size of your apps based on the user’s screen resolution. Fluid Canvas allows you to make your app left aligned so it takes up the full height and width of the user’s browser. You can enable Fluid Canvas, by selecting ‘fluid’ for ‘Canvas Width’ in your app settings.
Updated homepage bookmarks, so that the number and order of bookmarks in the groups and apps section is dynamic for each user. Also added the ability to add bookmarks to a “Favorites” section which appears at the top of all bookmarks to make it even easier for users to get back to the apps and games that they love.
Our goal with News Feed is to surface the most relevant stories to users from their friends, including high quality content from apps. We’ve begun rolling out a new ranking system that better surfaces app stories to the people who’ll most likely to engage with it, including those who don’t already use the app. Apps that post stream content which results in high user engagement will see more impressions for their stories. Conversely apps whose content is frequently hidden or marked as spam will see lower impressions. You should focus on publishing higher quality content and track user interaction in the Insights Dashboard to optimize for this system.
Facebook has also decided to give select games like Cityville, Monster World, Mystery Manor and others the option of “Fluid Canvas” or increased real estate on the Canvas Page in order to better fit a user’s browser. In addition users can now bookmark their favorite games both on the Canvas Page and the Facebook homepage.
To get started with new APIs and Fluid Canvas, refer to the documentation on Developer Site.
[Source: Facebook Developers]