Update: Having friends list issues? Send me your log!
As I am working on the next patch of Bloo I figured I should pause and post about the Facebook API limitations. It seems that despite my efforts to inform new or existing Bloo users about certain limitations the API has, I still receive a ton of email and comments regarding certain features that techincally are impossible to implement.
For starters, Facebook API (Application Programming Interface) as the name suggests is an interface which Bloo — and other Facebook apps for that matter — communicate with. It includes a variety of methods that allow apps to perform actions (e..g Like a post). These methods are defined and supported by Facebook. For the sake of security, Facebook has created a permission system in which it allows the user to explicitly allow a 3rd party app to perfom an action. This is why the first time you run Bloo you have to enable these permissions. This has been improved a little bit as you now can add a batch of permissions with one button (something not yet implemented in Bloo but I do have plans for it…) Otherwise, someone could write up an application (for any platform) that possibly could start spamming other Facebook users.
Now, let’s get down to the important stuff. The API does not offer any function to send inbox messages and an extremely limited API fo chat. In fact, there is only one method for chat I have seen and that requires a browser, something that Bloo avoids and also is not able to handle. During a phone conversation I found out that Facebook only offers inbox send functionality to trusted partners. This is why apps like iPhone or BlackBerry can send them. These are official apps and are trusted partners with Facebook. Until this is exposed to 3rd party apps or I somehow magically become a trusted partner of Facebook it is impossible for me to do this. The only workaround to this is to invoke a web page, in which case Bloo will stop and your phones browser launches. However, this would require you to login (on the m.facebook.com site) for a second time, and it goes outside the possibilities and domain of Bloo. I have seen countless of posts as well for people complaining that the web site opens up. Bloo is truly native. The only place a browser is used is when you open a link.
The same applies to other functions such as poking. There are other limitations that I have created enormous workarounds for you guys (e.g. Clicking on a notifications story to take you to the actual post, which still does not work extremely well in the case of photo tagging stories)
I have not overlooked such functions and I do not ignore you guys. I explicitly state that this cannot be done on the Bloo market page. I am hoping the API opens up soon so I can add this functionality for you.