Yo, App Developers: Facebook Announces Two Important Changes

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Attention app developers: Facebook is sick and tired of your spammy, shady features and it's not going to take it anymore. Seriously.

The big blue social network has announced two important changes to its platform policies for developers. The first says that, moving forward, apps will not be allowed incentivize people to use social plugins to like a Facebook page. This can include offering rewards or granting access to apps or certain app content based on whether a person has liked your page or not.

"It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app's Page," Facebook software engineer Harshdeep Singh said in a post announcing the changes. "To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike."

Related: User Experience is Integral to Winning App Design

The second new rule is that games which include mandatory or optional in-app charges must disclose this in their discrptions. The goal is to "give people a clear indication that your game may charge people during gameplay," Singh wrote. 

In other words, don't be shady about charging people money.

Both changes will become effective on Nov. 5, so developers have the next several weeks to make sure that their apps comply.

In April, Facebook said it would begin cracking down on pages that explicitly ask fans to like, comment or share a post "in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive." This was an attempt to cut down on spammy content that often appears in people's feeds.

So, in general, be awesome, Facebook says. Not spammy. Not shady. 

Related: If You Ask for 'Likes' on Facebook, You're About to Get Clobbered


Edition: July 2017

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