Facebook never stands still… trying to code against them is like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling. Often its just them changing things for no good reason… the whole token handling thing has changed several times, and its actually changed since Beta 1 of Wordbooker 2.2 came out.
But from time to time Facebook actually add something to the API that is good. For a long time you have been able to “mention” friends in wall posts and when you do it lets them know you’ve mentioned them. Part of this functionality was there in the API in that you could mention them and their names became links to their profile from your wall posts, but it didn’t actually mention them.
Well all of that has changed and now you can “mention” people in an API post and it notifies them that you’ve done it.
This is something that people have wanted for quite some time and I’d always wanted to provide the functionality… and now I can.
But how to do it? Do I extend the “Facebook Friend Link and Notify” section and make it more complicated, or do I add another meta box or what…. I really wanted to make it as uncomplicated as I could and add the functionality do that it didn’t get in the way or annoy people who didn’t want to do use it – that’s something I’ve tried to always do with Wordbooker – make it as unobtrusive as possible.
So what I’ve done is add it onto the FFLaN functionality – but not in the way you’re probably imagining. You use FFLaN as normal, and any friend you want to “mention” you add as if you were going to notify them but you don’t check the “Post a notification on the following friends walls” box.
Then before you publish your post you edit either the “Facebook Post Attribute line” or the “Facebook Status Update text” depending on whether you’re adding a normal wall post or a status update and you can add upto 5 friends using the %F1% to %F5% short codes. I’ve made the two input boxes bigger so you can write a much more natural message to put your friend tags in. So you might write something like:
"Posted a new blog post about the gig he went to with %F1%, %F2% and her boyfriend %F3%"
I’ve not added the enlarged input boxes for these two fields on the main Wordbooker Options page as this really should be set on a post by post basis.
I don’t think anyone needs a screen shot to explain it. But when 2.2 is finally released I’ll have updated the user guide to cover it all.