It’s been nearly a year since Facebook announced its “Great Apps” program at f8 last summer with charter applications iLike and Causes. Originally intended to be a second, higher tier of Facebook “blessed” apps (above and beyond simply “Verified” apps) that embody Facebook’s “guiding principles for social applications through their meaningful, trustworthy and well-designed user experiences,” Facebook has never said much about the program since the original announcement.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Facebook told TechCrunch today that the Great Apps program has been merged with the Verified Apps program. Facebook says:
We decided to merge Great Apps with the App Verification program, as they achieve similar goals of helping users identify trusted applications and rewarding the developers who create them. Given the high quality of the applications that have come through the Verification Program and the positive response by users, we believe focusing on one program will provide the best outcome for both users and developers.
At its launch, Facebook said Great Apps would receive “greater visibility on Facebook, earlier access to new features and more feedback from Facebook.” While it’s not clear if all Verified Apps receive “more feedback from Facebook,” early testers of Facebook’s new Platform payments service are indeed Verified Apps. Developers of Verified Apps have also been telling us they’ve seen increased traffic due to higher limits Facebook has placed on their use of viral channels and more prominent placement in the app store.
However, on the whole, Facebook’s consumer branding for the Verified Apps program has been relatively light. Verified apps get a logo on their application about page and an icon in the application directory – but not during application use or on application invitations. On the whole, however, the program is currently a good first step toward achieving its goals of increasing user trust in the platform.