With the launch of the new Facebook design many users were confused about how to mange their applications. Initially Facebook appeared to come up with solutions on the fly. They removed the applications drop down resulting in an initial decrease in application traffic and then shifted application access to a toolbar at the bottom of the site. Even with the access still available to users many are confused about how to edit their application settings.
What do you do if you’d like to remove an application? How about if you’d like to stop one application from adding things to your newsfeed? After tracking how users interacted with the application settings page, Facebook determined that users most actively make adjustments to those applications they’ve used in the past 30 days. As a result, the default page now displays those applications which were recently used.
The intention of these changes according to Facebook is to increase “user willingness to try out application integration points such as auto-publishing stories or adding bookmarks.” While I’m not sure if this change will really make a significant impact, providing users with greater control always makes sense. An additional feature of this update is that applications have been added to the “type-ahead” feature of the Facebook search box.
It’s clear that Facebook is monitoring user interactions and determining the best placement of these features. The better that applications do on the Facebook platform, the more likely that developers will stick around. This is something that I highlighted in my article this afternoon about MySpace adding application news feed integration. It will be interesting to see if this new applications settings page brings about substantial changes.