Should Facebook Developers Be Scared?

Facebook and their advertising partners have begun to step on the toes of some developers. Rachel Rosmarin of Forbes paint a picture of fearful developers that are concerned about Facebook wrecking their business model or at least their opportunity to compete. Dare Obasanjo suggests that this is just a sign that Facebook is becoming a successful platform.

Dare accurately expresses the relationship between the platform owner and application developer: “It is hard to argue that it isn’t better for users” if the functionality provided by new applications become “a native part of the platform or underlying application, however it often leaves the platform developers in a lurch. If the application developer cannot find a new way to add value to the platform then their usefulness to users comes to an end.”

This is a fact of life for application developers on all successful platforms. It is a risk that they must take if they are going to compete. If they become large enough though, the platform may choose to acquire them rather than compete head on. For those applications like Super Wall and similar ones, their application may one day be rendered useless by an upgrade to Facebook’s native wall application.

So should application developers be scared? Definitely. They should be just as scared as most entrepreneurs are when launching a business. Fear is part of the game. If you want to play in this fast paced environment, you are going to have to play smart and play to win. If you build an application which eventually becomes useless, you probably weren’t playing too smart. Am I being to harsh here?