Facebook to Spawn a Mullet Pandemic?

Eric Eldon has posted some interesting news about some new projects that Facebook is preparing to launch. According to Eric, Facebook will be removing sponsored groups under a project code-named “pandemic.” Instead of sponsored groups, Facebook will begin to offer sponsored pages on which sponsors can include interactive games or other applications under yet another code name: Mullets.

While I am not quite sure what the impact of pandemic mullets are, I am sure that if Facebook chose to launch this sort of system, there will be a massive backlash from application developers. Facebook will be walking right into a massive P.R. disaster and many of the Facebook application developers may go running for the door. Eric suggests that “large Facebook application developers like Slide, RockYou, iLike and Flixster may have embraced the Google-led OpenSocial movement so fervently earlier this week because they learned of these developments.”

I completely disagree with Eric’s suggestion tha tthis is why iLike, Slide and RockYou embraced Google. These companies simply need to expand their reach and the OpenSocial platform is an obvious way to accomplish their goals. If Facebook is indeed offering alternative applications that they will attempt to monetize using the same model that I suggested to developers at last week’s Snap Summit (I suggested that they approach brands directly to build partnerships), that will mean that Facebook is competing directly with the same developers that they encouraged to attempt to come in an make money.

This model is going to backfire massively if it is indeed true. That may be the reason for the internal debate that Eric suggested is taking place at Facebook. Eric also suggests that Facebook will only be competing with larger, more robust applications rather than simple applications like Zobies and Vampires. This news sounds absolutely ridiculous. If Facebook were to follow through with this, they will loose tens of thousands of developers overnight that don’t have access to the same size of resources as Facebook does. Hey Facebook: don’t do it, this is absolute suicide!