Facebook Developers’ Business Models Threatened or Maintained?

Facebook Says it's About User Trust

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Update: WebProNews received a call from David Swain, Communications for  Facebook Platform, who wanted to give the company’s side of this story. Basically, he says that they view the move as actually maintaining developers’ business models (rather than threatening them), so that advertising can continue to be successful and users will actually trust it.

He also says that Facebook has not shut down apps without telling people. He says they’ve been reaching out to developers since July, and that this is not a new occurrence. It has been going on since the policies went into effect.

Original Article: Back in July, Facebook made some changes to its advertising policies. With the new policies, Facebook holds third-party developers accountable for any ads that run with their apps. Now some developers are finding that their apps are being shut down without warning.

Obviously, when you are a developer trying to run a business with Facebook apps, and your model depends on ads, you may find you have some problems when not only does Facebook find some of the ads that run with your app objectionable, but they shut down your app entirely without telling you.

There are "hundreds of millions of dollars currently at stake and Facebook is the one pulling the strings," says Nick O’Neill at AllFacebook, who has spoken with a number of developers who have experienced this problem.

Paul C. JeffriesFacebook says they will enforce their policies with any developers and apps with offending ads, and will impose a temporary restriction on functionality or permanently disable the app. "These poor ads — even from a small number of applications — can diminish user confidence in all advertising, adversely impacting the entire Platform ecosystem," said Paul C. Jeffries of Facebook’s Platform Policy Team in a forum post.

Developers do not always have control over the ads that appear with their apps. Sometimes, they come from third-party ad networks. Facebook knows this and tells developers to monitor the ads and work with providers to "ensure compliance and high quality."

"Don’t run ads from networks you don’t trust or you catch violating the guidelines," says Jeffries. "You may wish to ask your network to explain how they protect you and users, whether they have a process for receiving ad complaints, whether they offer you transparency into the variety of ads they run in different locations, and whatever other assurances you as a publisher would like to demand in exchange for allowing access to space you are accountable for."

Recently one Facebook app was shut down (at least temporarily) for another reason altogether. It looks like apps that allow for content threatening the President of the United States may also violate Facebook’s policies, not to mention the Secret Service.

Facebook Developers’ Business Models Threatened or Maintained?
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  • App Developer

    Shut down our apps after business hours on Friday and then give us the silent treatment all weekend and see how much trust that inspires. We are very unhappy about this treatment. All they are showing is they have the power and if they choose to treat us poorly as developers there is nothing we can do.

    • Anonymous

      Dodgeball, Mashup Editor, Jaiku…

      These all come to mind…

      What makes you think facebook is yours? You knew the risks when you began working for facebook without being on salary…

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