Facebook updates email rules for application developers

Facebook Email MarketingThis afternoon, Facebook turned on new application email allocation limits as part of the Platform team’s continuing efforts to build a comprehensive Application Reputation System that controls access to Facebook’s viral marketing channels according to user feedback.

The new email allocations, originally announced to developers last week, limit the number of emails that applications are allowed to send per user per day. Like request and notification limits, applications are assigned a bucket rating. For email limits, buckets are assigned based on user disable rates.

In addition, Facebook added a new app “allocation” that changes the location of the disable link within emails. For applications in buckets 5-8, the disable links will appear at the bottom of emails (as they used to); for apps in buckets 1-4, the disable links will remain at the top.

Taking into account the effect that putting the email disable link at the top of the email has on email disable rates, Facebook Platform’s Tom Whitnah writes,

Since having the link at the top generally increases the rate that users click on it, clicks from the bottom of an email will be weighted differently than clicks at the top, so that scores will be based on the quality of the communication, not the location of the message. We will also take into account fluctuations in the amount of email sent, so your email limit will not decrease if you start sending less email overall.

This is a good move for the Platform, since only a few developers were abusing the email disable link location, and putting the disable link at the top leads to many users inadvertently disabling their application emails – a bad experience for all.