While most users didn’t notice the removal of Facebook application verification program, many developers did. Since Facebook killed the app verification program, many developers have seen their invitation allocations fluctuate dramatically. Causes, the Facebook Platform’s 5th largest application, has seen it’s monthly active user base drop by almost 25 percent, or 10 million users after having it’s daily invite allocation cut in half.
Other applications saw their invitation allocations double and then suddenly decrease yesterday afternoon. The adjustments were sporadic and inconsistent. Yesterday’s adjustment was clarified on the Platform Live Status page:
We’ve located a recent allocations bug that artificially boosted app allocations over the past few days. We’ve resolved the bug now, and this may cause a distinct delta in the number of allocations your apps have available to them. The number of allocations for your application bucket (specifically requests) will return to its previous levels. Thanks for understanding!
Facebook places applications into various buckets depending on user feedback. The more users rate an application positively, the more invitations or requests an application can send. If users end up reporting an application, the daily allocations can drop. The result is that “good” applications get rewarded for building high quality user experiences. It’s a great system as long as it’s working but the fluctuations in allocations are not exactly a new problem.
At the end of October, developers began reporting dramatic allocation fluctuations. Some applications which had millions of monthly active users for years saw daily invite allocations drop from 30 to 5, effectively cutting off developers’ source for new users. All these allocation variances can have a dramatic monetary impact, especially for those applications with high churn rates.
While the goal is to lower an application’s churn, it’s an integral component of any application. As of today it appears that application requests are back to “normal”, however many developers are still on edge as they know Facebook will continue to make changes which affect their application lifelines. It has become a fact of life for any developer building on the Facebook Platform.