In an effort to get more app developers on board using sections, the Facebook Developer blog released a list of best practices for creating customized sections and added section timeline analytics to their App Insight tool. After replacing aggregations with app sections last month, Facebook has rolled-out sections to everyone, and according to the blog post, “…are seeing almost 200 million items added daily.”
With sections, users can rate movie, TV show and book content directly on their timeline, as well as include ratings from apps. By highlighting a number of apps already using sections, Facebook demonstrated how the sections better integrate app content into a user’s timeline.
While the standard section categories include books, music, movies, TV and fitness, Facebook encourages developers to create custom sections if their content does not fit into any of the standard categories. OpenTable customized their app so that Facebook users could share and comment on restaurants.
Before an app can begin using customized sections, they must first be approved by Facebook. Before submitting a custom section, developers are instructed to consider adding a URL within their app so that users can see a preview of the section before deciding to use it on their timeline. Facebook also recommends developers choose a template that best fits their content (for example, visual content works best with a gallery template), and to make sure their custom app is fully completed before submitting for review.
For tracking purposes, Facebook has added analytics on timeline app section impressions and referral clicks to the App Insights tool, giving app developers improved user engagement metrics.