Change is Coming.
by Dave Morin - August 27, 2007 at 6:08pm

At Facebook we're focused on making Facebook Platform a better experience for both developers and users. To that end, we're working on some changes that we're planning to roll out within the coming weeks that we wanted to be sure you know about beforehand.

Our goal has always been to develop an ecosystem where the applications that achieve the most growth and usage are the ones that are the highest quality and add the most utility to users' lives. We want to build our tools to enable viral growth in the most natural manner and let you focus on building fun, useful applications. With the upcoming changes, we hope to shift the balance more in favor of good apps, which we think in the long term is good for everyone. Users will get better applications, and users will be able to put more trust into applications, thus spurring further adoption.

So, with that in mind, here are some of the changes we're planning. We'll provide more details about how each one works when we're closer to rolling it out.

Profile Boxes

With the release of FBML v1.1 we've made some changes to how profile boxes display content. Most specifically, we've removed the ability to display profile content that the user isn't aware of. This makes it impossible for applications to hide things from profile owners. We did this so that the user is always aware of how they are expressing themselves to their friends through your application. This means no more yellow boxes that display "Add this app!" in the profile box without the user knowing about it. We think this will help users make more informed decisions about the profile boxes they choose.

Application Directory

This week you'll see us shift our application directory metrics to a focus on user engagement. This will help inform users as they make decisions on which applications to add as well as shift developer focus to engagement rather than total users. More specifics will be available as we roll out these changes this coming week.

Requests

We will be deprecating the notifications.sendRequest API method. In its place, we will provide a standard invitation tool that allows users to select which friends they would like to send a request to. We are working hard on multiple versions of this tool to fit into different contexts. The tool will not have a "select all" button, but we hope it enables us to increase the maximum number of requests that can be sent out by a user. The standardized UI will hopefully make it easier for users to understand exactly what they are doing, and will save you the trouble of building it yourself.

Notifications

Soon we will be removing email functionality from notifications.send, though the API function itself will remain active. In the future, we may provide another way to contact users who have added your app, as we know that is important. Deceptive and misleading notifications will continue to be a focus for us, and we will continue to block applications which behave badly and we will continue to iterate on our automated spam detection tools. You will also see us working on ways to automatically block deceptive notifications.

News Feed

Because News Feed is an important part of distribution for everyone, we hope to enable feed stories to be shown to users who haven't added the application. We'll also begin to optimize these stories into higher rotation amongst the other application add stories. But this addition is likely to be further down the line than the others.

We're constantly working day and night to make Facebook Platform a great place for you to build awesome things. We can't thank you enough for your dedication and support as we continue to iterate.