The Importance of the Facebook Search API to Enterprise Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC)

Note: This article originally appeared as a post in the Facebook Developer Community.

I would like to share some perspective on the importance of #Facebook’s #SearchAPI, which was deprecated and discontinued on April 4th.

Our company, Brandle, provides a governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) platform for large enterprises. For example, it is public knowledge that 3M is a customer of ours. Not only are they a global company with over 91,000 employees but they produce over 55,000 products.

Let’s just take one of those products, Post-it Notes. It is not uncommon for a consumer brand like Post-it to have a different page for almost each of the 200+ countries in the world. This is partly an artifact of the organic nature of social media and the decentralized way it was adopted in many organizations. It is also due to the power of social media to have channels which communicate to local markets and in local languages.

An enterprise like 3M is working hard to bring brands like this into a governance framework. A key step is to ensure existing pages are brought into Facebook Business Manager and Global Pages. Another important factor is to ensure that the customer experience when engaging with a 3M brand on social media is consistent, relevant, up-to-date and responsive.

[Note: this does not mean these companies are locking down their social media points-of-presence and instituting a top-down communication channel. It just means there a particular page meets brand and corporate communication standards. It also means that a page has the resources to ensure it is maintained to provide a good customer experience or it is absorbed into another page which does.]

When a company has a diverse and distributed workforce as well as a valuable brand, it is important that A) they find and bring all existing pages into their governance framework and B) they stay vigilant for when a new (public) page is created which identifies itself as or references one of their brands or key individuals (e.g. their CEO, CMO, etc).

Without a functional #SearchAPI, it is nearly impossible to provide this capability to an enterprise for the Facebook platform. In particular, the abrupt shut-down of the Facebook Search API has left many brands blind and vulnerable to rogue or bad actors on Facebook.

What makes this situation even more troubling is that we have not been told if or when a replacement will be offered.

While we understand that bad actors have exploited the search capabilities of Facebook in ways that have damaged both Facebook and the common good, it is also not good to have this uncertainty and heightened exposure to risk hanging over our business climate.

Unfortunately that is what we have right now as we all wait for Facebook to tell us what is going to happen. I encourage you, Facebook, to do so as soon as possible. Please.