Were Facebook's Loose Limits Self-Destructive?

One of the largest benefits for developers building applications on Facebook are the less restrictive policies on the Facebook platform. Well at least the less restrictive policies of yesteryear. While Facebook has increased their restrictions on the virality of applications, there are still relatively few limits on the type of content that can be displayed within applications aside from not displaying pornography. This is in contrast to sites like LinkedIn where all applications are subject to strict approval.

Facebook’s decision to launch their platform with no restrictions one year ago, led to an onslaught of crappy applications. While Facebook could argue that the users are best suited to judge the utility of applications, I’m beginning to think that perhaps some sort of initial filtering process would prove useful. There are some obvious challenges with a system where not all applications are allowed to launch. I’d imagine the chief issue being politics.

I can think of a number of ways to work around this. One solution would be to provide a beta launch during which a limited number of people are granted access to an application. If the application takes off, it is grated global access. Whatever alternative model could be devised, the real question is: did Facebook’s willingness to accept anybody as a developer and approve just about any application backfire?

Laurence Hooper of Loladex things that a “poisoned atmosphere” has been created by the numerous spam applications. As such, it is extremely challenging for utility based applications to gain traction. While I agree with that, there are also other applications that have been gaining traction in recent months. Do you think Facebook’s initial loose limits were destructive to the platform?