Facebook Turning Feedback Into A Double-Edged Sword For DevelopersBy: Zach Walton - September 19, 2012
Facebook likes to run a pretty tight ship. You’re in their world, and they make the rules. They do, however, take user feedback very seriously. Enough users giving an app bad feedback can force it off of Facebook until the developer can appeal the decision. The company has now realized that outright deleting apps may not be the best course of action.
Facebook announced today that they’re making some changes to how user feedback is analyzed. They’re also changing their response to apps that receive an enormous amount of negative user feedback. Every app deserves the benefit of the doubt and Facebook is finally giving it to them.
First up, Facebook is rolling out a “News Feed” tab on your app’s Insights page. It will display both positive and negative feedback so you can make the necessary corrections before Facebook throws your app out on the curb. The new graphs use a familiar red and green color combination to show the general outlook users have in regards to your app.
The new Insights options perform a secondary purpose beyond giving you a general idea of how an app is performing. It’s all part of Facebook’s new “Granular Enforcement” plan that will gather feedback on each separate part of your app. In short, Facebook can now shut down a single offending part of an app instead of the entire thing.
For example, Facebook says they can now shut down a spammy chat action instead of the whole app. It protects the developer from having their entire app wiped while simultaneously protecting users from shady practices. Developers will of course be able to appeal Facebook’s enforcement.
What happens to apps that are just terrible across the board? Is Facebook still going to wipe them? The company says that they will now put these offensive apps into a new “Disabled Mode.” This will remove the app from Facebook, but allow the developers to tinker around with it on Facebook. Developers will have access to everything in their app including tests, settings and Insights.
These changes are leading up to Facebook’s new discoverability model. When introducing App Center, they said that quality apps will get top billing while poor quality apps will get shuffled to the end of the list. These new Insights will help developers focus on making the kind of quality apps that will push their product to the top of App Center.