The Facebook Platform is a software environment provided by the social networking service Facebook for third-party developers to create their own applications and services that access data in Facebook. The platform offers a set of programming interfaces and tools which enable developers to integrate with the open “social graph” of personal relations and other things like songs, places, and Facebook pages. Applications on facebook.com, external websites, and devices are all allowed to access the graph.
High-level Platform components
The Graph API is the core of Facebook Platform, enabling developers to read from and write data into Facebook. The Graph API presents a simple, consistent view of the Facebook social graph, uniformly representing objects in the graph (e.g., people, photos, events, and pages) and the connections between them (e.g., friend relationships, shared content, and photo tags).
Facebook authentication enables developers’ applications to interact with the Graph API on behalf of Facebook users, and it provides a single-sign on mechanism across web, mobile, and desktop apps.
Social plugins – including the Like Button, Recommendations, and Activity Feed – enable developers to provide social experiences to their users with just a few lines of HTML. All social plugins are extensions of Facebook and are specifically designed so no user data is shared with the sites on which they appear.
Open Graph protocol
The Open Graph protocol enables developers to integrate their pages into the social graph. These pages gain the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users. As an example, the following is the Open Graph protocol markup for text on Software Master Center.