When we launched Facebook Platform in 2007 there were just 40 million users on Facebook. Since then, in less than three years, more than 350 million users have joined Facebook, and more than one million developers like you have created more than 500,000 applications. With this additional scale came greater complexity. We announced last October a set of efforts to help make interactions with applications more streamlined, clear, and less spammy for users. We also launched our developer roadmap so that you would always have access to the latest information regarding upcoming changes.

We wanted to check in today to let you know how things are going, and what's to come.

Streamlining Communication Channels

As part of our efforts to improve the quality of your communications with users, we have launched features such as the Applications and Games dashboards, the ability to request user email addresses and an "Add Bookmark" button. Beginning next Monday, March 1, 2010, at 10AM Pacific time, Facebook will no longer deliver application notifications and will discontinue support for notifications.send.

In place of notifications, you should:

  • Use counters to notify users that they should take action within your application or integration.
  • Set news within the dashboards to share lightweight messages.
  • Ask for the extended permission to email users and send richer, more engaging messages.

In addition, later this year we'll change how requests function and how profiles are displayed. We'll also make some lightweight changes to the design of canvas pages. We'll update the roadmap when we have details finalized, so you should check it for the most current information.

How to Communicate with Your Users

We created a set of best practices to help you effectively use Facebook channels to communicate with your users. We've framed how each of our channels function, and how you can leverage them to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Growing your user base.
  2. Retaining and reactivating your users.
  3. Enabling your users to share content with each other.
  4. Informing your users of changes within your application or integration.

As always, please share your feedback with us in the Developer Forum.

Kelly, a product marketer on the Facebook Developer Network team, likes keeping it simple.