Facebook Walks Fine Line With App Developers

Imagine spending a couple months building a Facebook application only to wake up one day and see it launched as part of Facebook’s core feature set. That’s what happened to Amin Ariana who built the Friendmates application. Amin launched a friend suggestion and soon enough it was launched on Facebook. While I think this service is an obvious feature that would eventually launch, Amin did not sound to happy in his email to News.com.

This wasn’t the only time that Facebook has stepped on developers’ toes. With the upcoming launch of the Facebook chat application, many developers will find it a challenge for their application to succeed. There are currently over 1,200 chat application listed in the Facebook application directory. While most of the chat applications have failed at attracting a sizable user base, a few creative ones have grown significantly.

Babuki Desktop Instant Messenger is one application that has been able to attract a substantial user base within a matter of days. They are avoiding competition with Facebook by launching a desktop chat application that integrates with Facebook. This contrasts with Facebook’s upcoming chat application which resides completely within Facebook.

For now Facebook has avoided angering too many application developers but as time passes and Facebook rolls out new features they are continuously at risk of backlash. Have you seen other applications suffer from new Facebook features?