Facebook used to have several different groups focused on helping brands build applications on its platform. But back in April the company moved to consolidate these developer programs  into the singular Preferred Marketing Developer  program. Among other things, that program identifies a group of Facebook-preferred companies that can assist brands with tasks like page management, ad buying or analytics.
Now Facebook is spinning out a new program called the Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer (sPMD) program, essentially establishing a who's who list of companies Facebook has officially endorsed to help brands better leverage the social network.
Facebook’s vp of business and marketing partnerships David Fischer announced the program Thursday afternoon at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. "We're taking a big step forward with our Preferred Marketing Developer program," Fisher said, calling sPMD the “elite tier of the PMD program for our closest, largest and most valuable partners.” Those partners include: 77agency, Adobe, AdParlor, Alchemy Social, Brand Networks, Glow, GraphEffect, Kenshoo Social, Nanigans, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (formerly Buddy Media and Radian6), SocialCode and Spruce Media.
As part of their elite status, Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers will get clued in early on what products Facebook has cooking and how they get rolled out. They are also being promised a clearer line of communications with Facebook—including better turnaround times for ads review and tech support—along with a chance at a seat on Facebook's PMD Executive Council.
By whittling the 311 companies awarded PMD badges into 12 with sPMD badges, the elite program’s members should receive a profile boost in marketers’ minds since these companies will have a closer connection—and carry more clout—with Facebook. But like the Spider-men of social developers, with great power (or in this case, access) comes great responsibility. Strategic Preferred Marketing Developers will be evaluated every six months. Those review periods are also when Facebook will consider new sPMD members.
Facebook isn’t the only social network to have established a program as a way to set the tone for how companies should products on its platform. Last month Twitter rolled out  its Twitter Certified Products Program with 12 developers.