Facebook to restructure preferred developer consultant program

Facebook plans to soon change the way it structures its API partner program, assigning “preferred” status to developers in four verticals: page management, ads, insights and custom app development, according to TechCrunch sources.

Currently, Facebook has two tiers, an Ads API partner program and a Preferred Developer Consultant program through which it grants API permissions and allows companies to highlight their status with badges like the one seen right. In November 2011, the social network announced it would unify these under a single title, the Facebook Marketing API Program. By adding more verticals and categorizing developers based on the service they provide, as TechCrunch reports, Facebook could help businesses discover the type of provider they’re looking for.

Facebook started the Preferred Developer Consultants program at the end of 2009, with 14 companies. Now it has 90 preferred developers in its directory. These developers had to apply and get approved by Facebook. The most recent submission round ended in December 2011, but the social network has not yet announced the new additions. On the Ads API side, Facebook has more than 50 partners providing managed services and software tools to help businesses create and optimize ad campaigns on the site. With more of these companies cropping up and others consolidating, it will be useful to have a system in place to indicate which vendors are qualified to provide which services.

Facebook did not respond to requests for comment on possible changes to its developer programs.