Facebook: Weeding the app garden

I’m glad to hear that Facebook is looking at ways of fine-tuning its growing garden of apps and widgets (or perhaps jungle might be a better word). According to Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWrite Web, the social network is tweaking the way that apps and widgets can send updates or alerts in the site’s newsfeeds. In effect, Facebook will let apps that have a good success rate — that is, either new installs or clickthroughs on their existing events — send out more, and those that fail to pass those tests will be restricted in the number of alerts they can send out.

A post on the Facebook developer blog says that apps were previously restricted to an upper limit of 40 notifications per day. I think this move could have a couple of different outcomes: On the one hand, it should cut down on a lot of the noise that shows up in Facebook’s newsfeeds, about people becoming Zombies or rating different movies, or taking this or that quiz. But at the same time, it will increase the likelihood that a “good” app becomes even more successful, since it will get a correspondingly larger share of the newsfeed event market.

4 thoughts on “Facebook: Weeding the app garden

  1. I'd love to see them tackle the problem of all the applications that lure you in with some carrot on a stick, and then withhold their output until you send the application to 10, 20, or more friends. They bank on your friends giving you grief for not accepting their invitations, and the result is you turning into their own little marketing helper. My solution so far has just been a strict “no applications” policy. I want to recommend an application because it's a good one, not because I'm forced.

    • I agree, Tom. I'm not sure how Facebook would handle that exactly,
      but it's a good point. Part of the problem is that Facebook wants to
      have its cake and eat it too — it's counting on apps to bring in the
      bacon, so to some extent it wants as many of them and as many users as
      possible.

  2. I'd love to see them tackle the problem of all the applications that lure you in with some carrot on a stick, and then withhold their output until you send the application to 10, 20, or more friends. They bank on your friends giving you grief for not accepting their invitations, and the result is you turning into their own little marketing helper. My solution so far has just been a strict “no applications” policy. I want to recommend an application because it's a good one, not because I'm forced.

  3. I agree, Tom. I'm not sure how Facebook would handle that exactly,
    but it's a good point. Part of the problem is that Facebook wants to
    have its cake and eat it too — it's counting on apps to bring in the
    bacon, so to some extent it wants as many of them and as many users as
    possible.

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