More big changes are coming to Facebook’s communication channels this year, as Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor told us in an interview recently. They’re worth a closer look, as they’re likely to impact all developers, and especially social game developers.
The first is an automated spam filter for all Facebook communication channels. Granted, the spam problem has lessened as Facebook has removed some entirely, like notifications, or scaled back others, like news feed stories and requests. Here’s the relevant excerpt, from Taylor:
So rather than saying you’re not allowed to do X, Y, and Z with a dialog box in your game, if you’re sending useless messages from your game, we just won’t deliver them, and we’ll give you that feedback. And then you can change the way you send messages to send higher signal-to-noise content. This is something that we just haven’t invested enough in, but we now have a very large team working on spam and quality. That will touch all of our communication channels, and news feed. This is going to be a year-long project though, because we’re not going to remove the policies until we know that the system that replaces it is high quality.
Expect Facebook to start sharing more about its plans here in the coming months. If it wasn’t obvious already, given Facebook’s changes to date, developers should think about how to provide useful communication in their apps.
But it’s not just more automated punishment ahead. Taylor also said that the company is giving social gaming a new focus, describing games as a “killer app” on the platform.