At this year’s F8 conference, Facebook announced that it would release a new Researcher API that is intended to streamline access to Platform data for users that will leverage the data for the purposes of furthering academic research. This week, the API will enter availability for the first official partners.

When the API was first announced, Wendell Santos (one of ProgrammableWeb’s editors) wrote about the relevance of this new API in light of Facebook’s previous privacy transgressions:

“As part of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica crisis, Facebook made numerous changes to its APIs including revoking access to some and deprecating many more. While the stated goal was to help protect users’ data, the sudden breaking changes put developers in a bind and prevented legitimate research on the platform. The Researcher API will provide researchers access to some of that previously lost data.”

Currently, the list of researchers that have access to this API is exceedingly small, with Facebook vowing to expand access sometime in early 2022.