Facebook Takes Another Jab at Developers

Many developers were surprised this morning to find out about the new header that is now showing up on Facebook. Facebook was first testing the headerlast night and it went live within hours of us first writing about it. The new headers has one significant change for developers: mousing over “Applications” reveals 8 applications, instead of arrows to view more. This means the majority of applications will no longer have a link from the site homepage. Yikes!

Instead, Facebook has opted to direct all users to a new “Applications” page which enables users to see applications they’ve: bookmarked, added to their profile, installed/authorized, granted wall permissions to or given any form of additional permissions. While the applications page is nice, it means that those users that haven’t made the switch to the new design will be surprised to find many applications missing.

It also means that many developers could find some of their users no longer visit as there isn’t a quick way to get to their less used applications. You can arrange the order of your bookmarks and what items show up in your drop down via the “Applications” page. While it’s a subtle change, small changes on Facebook can have substantial effects on developers.

Unfortunately we have yet to find substantial statistics that show the impact of the new site design. We will have more statistics within a week as the new site design is switched over for everyone. For now, it’s interesting to see Facebook taking away yet one more channel for applications to get easy exposure. While this could be based on usage statistics (most likely reason), I’m sure a fraction of users actually clicked through to applications from the drop-down menu.

Do you think this new change will have a significant impact on application usage?

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