In April 2018, Facebook began to announce a series of changes on their newsroom and developer blog which have had an effect on Paper.li and all services using their API (Application Programming Interface), the software that allows two different services to work together.
Some of these policy reforms are the result of Facebook's audit in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Because of this "breach of trust", Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had pledged to make changes to Facebook's policies.
Facebook had also already been in the process of updating its policies in preparation for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which took effect in May 2018. Amidst the data scandal that was playing out, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would voluntarily enforce EU privacy laws everywhere and not just in Europe.
We believe that any changes to better safeguard user information are a step in the right direction. Most of the changes to policy do not affect the Paper.li service as the purpose of our platform has never been to mine personal information from groups, pages, or events.
As of now, we expect the recent changes to Facebook policy will affect the Paper.li service in the following ways:
- Paper.li PRO users were able to post automatically to their own individual Facebook Profiles through a third party app such as Paper.li, but as of August 1, 2018, automatic posting to individual timelines is no longer supported by Facebook. Paper.li PRO users will, however, continue to be able to use Paper.li to post automatically to their Facebook page.
- Paper.li users were able to search for public Facebook pages and groups to add them as sources for their paper. Searching for public pages and groups (in order to add them as sources) is no longer supported. Paper.li users may continue to use their own page as a content source.
- Paper.li users were able to use their own groups as a source, but because Facebook is requiring all apps (even those that had been previously approved) to re-apply for this privilege, this right is temporarily non-functional. We are working on getting our app re-approved. Once our app is reapproved, Paper.li users may continue to use their own groups as content sources.
- Facebook links added to publisher profiles via the Facebook API will only be viewable to your friends and friends of your friends who are signed into Facebook. If you add your own Facebook profile link manually, and your profile is public, there continues to be no restriction.
What comes next? Businesses and Facebook Marketing
It should be expected that Facebook will continually evolve in order to stay relevant to its 2.19 billion monthly active users. Both the marketers who use their platform to attract an audience and services such as Paper.li will also need to evolve along with them.
As far back as January of this year, Zuckerberg pledged in a post to make Facebook more meaningful. To accomplish this goal, their algorithm that ranks content seen in a timeline has been changing. Active interactions such as sharing, commenting and reacting between people began to hold more weight than “passive” interactions such as clicking, viewing, or hovering.
It seems clear that Facebook is encouraging more person-to-person interactions.
For businesses, this means that engaging with your followers on your page is more important than ever. Those Facebook pages and groups whose posts prompt conversations among friends will continue to have organic reach.
Paper.li plans to add posting to Facebook groups
One way to encourage interaction among people is to create a Facebook community group for your business or cause. Facebook groups were made for people to connect and initiate conversations with like-minded people. Actively promote your group to your page followers, encourage them to join and participate in discussions with members.
Many of you have requested that Paper.li allow posting to Facebook groups to support the communities you have created. To support this goal, we're working on adding Paper.li posting to Facebook groups. Stay tuned for this value-added feature for Pro users.