Developers face another bane in trying to penetrate the Facebook platform. According to an article from Reuters, Facebook boosts traffic to apps that prove to be popular and takes it away from those that overwhelm people with notifications or are otherwise abusive or unpopular. In the past year and a half, Facebook has cut down spam complaints by 90 percent. This statement was from Douglas Purdy, the director of Facebook’s developer products.
This has caused the downfall of some Facebook apps such as Viddy, a formerly promising startup that investors hailed as the “Instagram for video”. More recently, Viddy has laid off almost half of its employees and fired its chief executive. It has pointed the finger of blame for its plummeting user base to Facebook.
Viddy has been the latest victim of Facebook’s dramatic about face regarding third party apps and developers. Voxer, the popular voice-messaging app, was first to be affected by Facebook’s shifting policy changes. After that, it was Twitter’s own video sharing platform, Vine, which was forbidden to access the Facebook database. Russian-based Yandex was not spared as Wonder, a perceived Graph Search competitor, was also axed.
While developers and investors alike are turned off by Facebook’s mood swings, some are also seeing this as a rightful purge, reminiscent of Noah and the Great Flood. Some are lauding Facebook’s stringent third party policies as it prevents apps from achieving fast but unsustainable levels of success. Instead of hitchhiking their way through Facebook’s social network, startups must now develop a solid business plan for growth.
Whether it’s due to policy changes or to safeguard its users from spam and unwanted messages, recent Facebook changes are giving developers some serious problems in utilizing Facebook to gain users. We’re asking third-party developers out there to give us your thoughts and comments regarding these changes and speak your mind on the comment box below.