Scott Rafer: The Facebook Platform is Dead

By Nick O'Neill Comment

When speaking at the Facebook developer conference today in Berlin, Scott Rafer declared that Facebook platform dead. He posted statistics including one that I posted that suggests Facebook widgets are dead. Lookery’s own statistics from Quantcast suggest that their publisher traffic has been almost halved since the new site design was released. Ultimately, I think we may see an increase in traffic as users become educated on the new design but there is no doubt that developers were impacted significantly.

So what is Scott’s solution for developers looking to thrive following the shift to the new design? Leave the platform and jump on the Facebook Connect opportunity. He suggests that the benefits gained from integrating with Connect will be short term just as it was with the Facebook platform. To increase your odds of success with Facebook Connect, Rafer suggests ganging up with other Conenct applications.

If you are to heed Rafer’s advice, it is time to get back to basics and focus on off-platform activities such as search engine optimization (SEO). While it’s easy to be dramatic and have an attention receiving headline for a presentation, I’m not quite sure that Rafer’s conclusion is completely accurate. I know of numerous applications that continue to be exceptionally profitable despite the platform redesign.

I do agree however that Facebook Connect presents a great opportunity for developers. Over the past few weeks we have seen numerous beta implementations of Facebook Connect and this trend will continue. The real test of Facebook Connect will be the opportunity for viral growth. So far there have been few implementations of Facebook Connect and it is difficult to test the success of each of these applications.

Do you think that the platform is dead? How much emphasis should be placed on Facebook Connect development?

Update
I’ve posted the video of the presentation below.

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