Facebook establishes Preferred Marketing Developer program with 232 companies providing tools and services

Facebook today officially introduced its Preferred Marketing Developer program with 141 new partner companies.

The PMD program combines the Preferred Developer Consultant and Marketing API programs to create a unified certification process for companies that build marketing tools on top of the Facebook platform. Partners will receive badges based on their qualifications in page management tools, ad management tools, app development and insights products.

This change will help brands, agencies and others navigate the growing ecosystem of companies selling software and services related to Facebook marketing.

Facebook includes 232 companies based in 35 countries in its program. People looking for one of these tools or services can use an improved directory that includes new filters for type of business model and customers they serve. (See right.)

Companies in the PMD program get additional support from Facebook platform representatives, but generally do not get early access to features. Some PMDs are invited to participate in beta tests, but doing so requires developers to complete a number of tasks and provide required feedback. If they don’t, they can be suspended from future beta tests for 90 days.

Facebook first announced that it would bring its preferred developers and Ads API partners under a single program in November 2011. Last month we learned details about the four categories Facebook would assign badges for. Before today, there were about 90 preferred developers and 50 Ads API partners providing managed services and software tools to help businesses create and optimize campaigns on the site. When the program launched in 2009, only 14 companies were included.

Developers can learn more about the program and apply here.