We often hear from companies looking for guidance on maximizing their Facebook presence. To better meet each entity’s needs, we introduced the Preferred Developer Consultant (PDC) program in December 2009 to connect companies and brands to the resources they need to build with Facebook products and technologies.

Since we last added to the PDC program, the demand for branded Facebook applications and enterprise software has risen to touch tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of millions of people. Many Fortune 500 companies have used a PDC in their online media campaigns, and social content and relationship management products built by PDCs are making waves in the enterprise software space.

PDCs have shown strength in niche markets as well. From branded calendars to sponsored games, PDCs are finding ways to bring social innovation to businesses the world over.

Inside the program, Facebook has continued to provide best practices and product guidance to PDCs, while simultaneously using feedback from the group to direct product changes like the recently released iFrame tabs and geo-targeting Page APIs.

What separates a PDC from most other digital development firms is the ability to understand social mechanics and technical possibilities on Platform. While inclusion of a developer in the program does not constitute an assurance by Facebook, we love to see companies delivering excellent social experiences to people while also giving brands a deeper understanding of how social referrals and interaction can drive their top lines.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the addition of 17 companies to the PDC program; see the full list of Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants.

We’re also now accepting submissions for the next round of PDCs. Submissions for this round will be open through the month of March. If you'd like to join the program, you can submit your company for review with our PDC submission form. Please also note our expectations and criteria for accepting PDCs. Finally, with this new round of applications, we're deprecating prefdevconsultant@fb.com; anyone who has submitted their interest there will be invited to submit an official application soon.

Matt looks forward to seeing what the PDCs will come up with next.