Facebook Slams App Developers with New TOS Policies

Via TechCrunch:

Facebook is holding a Developer Garage today (yesterday) at its offices in Palo Alto, and a number of new app policies will be formally announced. Some of the changes, though, are so dramatic that Facebook has briefed the bigger app developers in advance. And those developers are, to say the least, more than a little worried about the effect the changes will have on traffic and usage. One source we’ve spoken with estimates that the changes may drop usage on their apps by 70% or more (more on that below, some developers may use the changes to their advantage).

Last week Facebook changed the way it publishes the news stream to users..... developers we spoke with say traffic and usage has declined 20% – 30% from just that one change.

....Facebook will hit developers even harder. An even more lucrative traffic stream for apps comes from notifications – the pop up box in the lower right hand corner of Facebook that tells you when people leave comments or “like” your links and updates, etc.....When the changes go into effect, we’ve heard, apps will no longer be able to publish to notifications. There goes another 40% of traffic for the apps that use it heavily, say our sources.

There are lots of other changes coming today as well, but our understanding is the notification prohibition is the big hit to developers.

Here’s the other big change today: Facebook is apparently a little tired of making and then endlessly changing developer rules to plug loopholes and keep the user experience tolerable. So instead of trying to put in writing everything that developers can and cannot do to spread word about their apps....they’ll reserve the right to just say “we don’t like what you’re doing” and take action against the app. 
.....Just like arbitrarily, subjectively, and selectively do do with political activists they don't like. -JIDF

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