Small Developers Nervous as Facebook Redesign Day Approaches

Following Facebook’s announcement on Monday that the new profile design is to be rolled out to users starting next week, there have been a growing number of threads on the Facebook Developer’s forum raising doubts about just how ready the application ecosystem will be to deal with these extensive changes.

Discussions about the merits of the new design are not entirely one-sided, although the balance of opinion is generally that the new profile is still not up to the standard of the current one. But few are proposing that Facebook does nothing while their competitors catch up.

For developers with small applications, the amount of work required to adapt to the new platform may not be economical. The lack of a fully-documented application testing platform and the speed with which the new announcements are moving from beta into implementation are keeping many smaller developers from upgrading their applications. For more successful applications, there is a genuine customer support and continuity issue: if something isn’t working, serious developers, as much as any other business, have no desire to see unhappy customers.

A poll by developer Luke Noel-Storr asking “Are you ready?” (which has been running since before the migration date was announced) shows that 65% of developers have not started preparing for the redesign. Some are not convinced that the new platform will go over well with users or be bug-free enough to change over completely. While this obviously doesn’t reflect the views of the larger developers, as a straw poll of smaller developers it is at least somewhat telling.