Last week, Facebook application SpeedDate was temporarily suspended from the Facebook Platform for violation of Facebook Platform policy. While SpeedDate founder Dan Abelon understandably isn’t willing to discuss the details of the suspension publicly, he has offered to share his thoughts and advice for fellow Facebook developers regarding his recent experience here. Dan’s words follow.
Dan Abelon, Founder, SpeedDate:
While some think it harsh that Facebook temporarily removed the SpeedDate app from users’ profiles without warning, we understand that Facebook’s ultimate goal is aligned with ours – to provide a great experience for users. SpeedDate is focused on revolutionizing online dating by setting people up on instant live web dates, and the Facebook Platform will continue to be part of our strategy.
It’s clear from our conversations with them that they are focused on making sure that leading social app developers such as SpeedDate stay up to date with guideline changes, and play more moderately as related to any grey areas. A lot of developers are worried about the implications for their apps, so here are a few things we recommend based on our experience:
- Stay up to date with Facebook’s changes to their guidelines, especially in the Developers Wiki. New rules came into effect on June 18th, and we assume there will be continued changes in the future.
- If you think a rule is ambiguous, err on the conservative side and don’t push the limits.
- Look at other apps for creative ideas, but be wary about borrowing an idea from an app (big or small) without a very clear understanding of Facebook’s rules.
- React quickly if you think Facebook has taken any action with respect to your app. As soon as you identify the issue, alter your code and contact Facebook to let them know. If your users love your app, they’ll expect nothing less. One user wrote on the SpeedDate fan page: “If it’s not back tomorrow I may have to have a breakdown and go sit in a corner.” Because we took quick action, the app was back within days for the many hundreds of thousands of users who regularly rely on SpeedDate to meet new people.
- While it may sound cliché, focus on building highly engaging apps. SpeedDate has hosted over 10 million online speed dates since we launched in October, and for us the most important thing is creating a faster and more fun way for you to meet new people.
- If you feel like your app is in the clear, spend your time working on the new profile redesign!
We welcome any developers who are grappling with these issues to reach out to us directly at info (at) speeddate.com.