Facebook Quietly Phasing Out App Collections

By David Cohen 

AppCollections650When Facebook began rolling out its Timeline redesign last March, the social network added features for developers to showcase their applications. Now it appears that one of those features, collections (not to be confused with the collections feature for retailers Facebook tested in late 2012), has been quietly shelved. Existing collections will not be affected, but new ones cannot be created.

Quy Le, director of product management at Facebook marketing platform Booshaka, alerted AllFacebook to a Facebook bug report in which Alan McConnell, an engineering manager for the social network, replied:

We designed collections to help people express what’s important to them on Timeline. However, after testing with users, we’ve found that few wanted to add custom app collections to their Timelines. Similarly, the traffic to apps that have incorporated custom collections has been limited. As a result, we are no longer accepting new collection submissions, although existing custom collections will continue to function.

Le said in an email to AllFacebook:

Facebook collections allowed developers to showcase users’ activity on Open Graph apps. Our experiences with collections and Open Graph stories have been very positive — we have seen an average of 20 percent of Open Graph impressions from our apps come from collections. I’ve attached screenshots (below) of a Gameday Badges app we developed for the Green Bay Packers, where fans could collect badges for every game and display them in custom collection on their Facebook timelines.

Are these signs of the imminent death of custom Open Graph stories for apps? Only time will tell, but we feel that Facebook should allow more time for Open Graph stories to succeed, rather than ending paid and organic distribution mechanisms for Open Graph stories such as sponsored stories and collections.

Readers: Did you ever use the collections feature on your Timelines?