Facebook temporarily closes PMD program to new applicants due to demand

Facebook is not currently accepting applicants for its Preferred Marketing Developer program as it reconsiders its badge requirements and process as a result of the volume of applications, a spokesperson from the company tells us.

Business Insider today reported that the social network had “halted” the PMD program. A Facebook spokesperson clarified to us that the program is still in effect, though new applicants are temporarily not being reviewed. The company periodically revises its criteria for entry and for awarding its qualification badges: ads, apps, insights and pages. The revised process and requirements are planned to go live in the next few weeks, after which point, Facebook will ask new developers to reapply.

Business Insider published an email Facebook sent to a developer who tried to apply to become a PMD, which indicated that the new application process will be based on a referral system and the new badge criteria will emphasize paid media, along with being able to help brands with owned and earned strategies.

“Please note that if you do not buy ads or sponsored stories on behalf of your clients, you will need to show us that you have the ability to pitch a Facebook holistic strategy and influence your clients on media spend,” the email said.

A Facebook spokesperson shared in a statement:

“There is no specific requirement that all PMD’s run ads, which [the Business Insider] article seems to indicate. What we are working on, just as we do for brands and agencies, is ensuring that the PMD ecosystem is comprehensive in its knowledge of the entire Facebook marketing platform versus a smaller subset. The intrinsic link between paid, earned, and owned media on Facebook means that PMDs must have a deep knowledge and understanding across all of those areas to ensure marketer success. Many of the most successful PMDs offer comprehensive Facebook marketing solutions, through creative partnerships with other PMDs or by offering multifaceted tools.”

That likely means that developers who build tools simply for analytics or for creating contest and coupon applications, for example, might not be accepted into the program when they apply. It is becoming increasingly important for marketers and advertisers to consider how pages, apps, ads and insights are connected and create campaigns to leverage each. Just as businesses are looking for software and partners to help them do it all, Facebook is focusing its resources on developers who can work across all four areas.

As we spoke to PMD Program Manager John Yi about a few months ago, Facebook’s team is still relatively small and there aren’t enough partner managers to provide one-on-one support for more than 300 developers. Facebook prioritizes who it works with, giving more attention to a smaller group of PMDs rather than giving reduced support to everyone.

Some developers were frustrated that the company created a new Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer classification, which gives 12 companies access to alpha and beta products, as well as more support from Facebook’s business, product and engineering teams. The companies selected were all top advertising providers. Yi said the goal is to show marketers who is “most well aligned with where Facebook is going” and set an example for other PMDs.

Understanding Facebook’s ad offerings and being able to advise businesses on a paid media strategy is also more important as the social network expands its advertising capabilities and reaching consumers is growing more difficult to do completely organically.

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