Facebook Continues to Clamp Down on Apps

If you thought Facebook was the quick way to million of users overnight, you may want to think again. Yesterday, Facebook implemented a few more changes that will help them battle spam but will also create more restrictions for applications. One new addition has been the permanent application invite block link that had been added to application requests:

Application Permanent Block

Another interesting addition is a checkbox that is displayed both on the application installation page as well as the applications settings pop-up within your “edit applications” page. I have included screenshots of both below:

Email Disable
Email Disable Settings Screenshot

Facebook is also increasing their fight against forced invites and heavily penalizing those applications that try to gain users by forcing invitations. If you take a look at the statistics of survey applications since Facebook added the new invitation restrictions, daily active users have practically tanked. Ultimately, the only effective applications will be those that generate avid brand evangelists. Those evangelists will invite all of their friends and go tell many of the other users.

We are slowly beginning to see the evolution of Facebook into a platform for valuable and engaging applications as opposed to the first six months which were dominated by spammy applications. I also have to wonder if the difference between social application growth within the platform and social application growth outside of the platform (new web startups) will continue to be significant. In other words, does the application invite system generate substantially more user growth over general websites that use traditional email invites?