Facebook is a nightmare for developers

I should be working or coding in Swift to familiarize myself more with the new language… but instead I am wasting the whole morning fighting with Facebook registration, account and App managements. The reason? I can no longer create Apps because I had a “business account”.

Facebook has never been a friendly platform for developers. From the terrible Apps management system to their non standard implementation of OAuth and messy permission system, they seem to have thought their APIs for making life hard for us, developers. But it always amazes me how hard it is for a developer to handle something as simple as having some Apps using Facebook. Ok, everybody else requires you to create a developer account and manage your apps on their developer site, and that’s ok to me, but Facebook somehow manages to make even this a nightmare.

When I started including Facebook in my apps, some time ago, I decided to do so in my Facebook “business” page. This page is just a page for my freelancing activity as iOS/OS X/Web services developer. I was creating Apps there and everything was (mainly) ok. Then, a while ago, Facebook decided that I can no longer create Apps with the developer account of my business page (why? I have no idea. Please, any FB staff reading this? enlighten me please), leaving me with the only option of creating a personal account.

The fact is: I don’t want to have a personal account on Facebook. I don’t want FB to have my personal data and profile me as one more advertisement target to add to their DDBB. Yes, of course, I can create an empty profile with no data, but then again, why do I need to have two accounts, one for my page and one personal, when I just need one? I could “transfer” all the Apps and delete my old account, but I have all my posts and timeline there, and I don’t want to loose it.

Ok, so I accept that situation and open my personal account, and things start getting weird. In theory I have to open my personal account, verify it, log out, go to the business page, add my new personal account as administrator for the old Apps and the pages I was managing with my business page, log out, enter again with my new personal profile and accept the requests of those apps and pages.

It seems quite straightforward, but things start getting weird when Facebook denies the verification of my new personal profile because I am using the same phone number than another profile (of course, that’s my business page). How can I verify my account? by SMS or by phone call (because the verification link sent to my email doesn’t work), but I cannot verify the account by phone because it is already in use… Time to go to the business page and delete my phone, which is not as easy as it should be.

So after 3 hours worth of my time, I have (more or less) managed to have my personal account with administration permission on my old Apps, and now I have two accounts, a personal account that can create Apps for my “business” and a business page that handles the page for my “business”, as separate entities I cannot merge, with two different authentications. Thank you very much, Facebook.

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