Facebook Launches Verification Program to Increase User Trust in Applications

Originally announced this summer at Facebook’s f8 developer conference, Facebook today is formally launching its Application Verification program designed to certify applications that adhere to Facebook’s guiding principles and goals for the Platform.

Starting today, application developers can apply for verification. Facebook has formed a team that will review applications “to ensure they satisfy the company’s guiding principles around security, respect and transparency, and have demonstrated commitment to compliance with Platform policies.”

After an application has been initially submitted, it will enter a rolling approval process. When Facebook is ready to review developers’ submissions, they will be notified by email, though Facebook says that initially, “This may take several weeks as we ramp up the program.” Developers can then choose to complete the application process by submitting screenshots and answering more detailed questions. Developers must also pay a $375 fee to apply – Facebook says this fee helps cover the operational costs of the program (students and non-profits can apply for special pricing).

How will verified applications be treated differently within Facebook? Facebook’s Platform Program Manager Sandra Liu Huang told us today that “Verified apps will have greater visibility across the site.” This means verified applications will receive:

  1. Greater distribution in the News Feed.
  2. Higher viral channel allocation limits for notifications, requests, and emails (though Huang says “the application reputation system is still in effect”).
  3. A “seal of approval” indicating that the application is verified. The first verified badges will go live in the application directory and on application about pages in early 2009. Huang also says Facebook plans on doing some “user education” around the meaning of the verified badges.

For its part, Facebook has issued more detailed information to help developers understand what exactly Facebook’s review team will be looking for when reviewing applications. Huang says the “focus is on integration points and the purpose which we think the various integrations points are for.”

While the requirements are not as high as those for Facebook’s Great Apps program (which awards apps that “advance the goals” of the Facebook Platform with even more benefits), Facebook encourages all developers to build apps that fit the goals and spirit of the program: providing engaging and trustworthy social experiences for users.

“The goal of the verified program is really to create a trusted ecosystem, so users continue to engage with applications and try new ones,” Huang says.

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Leave a Reply

15 Responses to “Facebook Launches Verification Program to Increase User Trust in Applications”

  1. Mike says:

    Just be prepared to pay the verification fee every 12 months as it’s recurring.

    -Mike

  2. Zuckerborg says:

    this is ridiculous. hopefully facebook doesn’t give these apps extra promotion other than the badge or they force developers to pay.

    just let the market decide quality rather than raping developers for $375 annually.

  3. Facebook lanza su programa de verificación | Facebook Noticias says:

    [...] Visto en Inside Facebook [...]

  4. Inside Facebook » From the Front Lines: Developers Voice Initial Concerns About App Verification Program says:

    [...] a day has passed since Facebook announced the details of their new Application Verification program, and it’s no surprise that several strong opinions have already been voiced in the [...]

  5. Todd Sieling says:

    > just let the market decide quality

    I think they did try that, and it resulted in a bunch of crappy, spammy apps. The market may be able to decide quality in the long run, but a lot of people have to be annoyed or abused in some way to sort all that out. It’s also worth noting that there’s a student/non-profit rate of $175, and that approved apps get $100 in advertising credits to promote their app. I don’t think this is a bad deal for users or developers.

  6. Inside Facebook » Is App Verification Really a Money Tree for Facebook? says:

    [...] Facebook launched the app verification program a couple of days ago, some people claimed that Facebook had created a “serious revenue [...]

  7. Application Verification vs. Better Developer Verification: Which Would Reduce App Spam More? says:

    [...] recently announced Application Verification Program has taken aim at increasing user trust in applications, and with this should come a decrease in the [...]

  8. Should We Trust Facebook Apps? « World of Usability says:

    [...] November, facebook launched an application verification program, but when browsing facebook applications, I don’t see any verification information on any of [...]

  9. Facebook Lowers Viral Channel Allocation Limits for Developers with Unverified Personal Accounts says:

    [...] is likely at least conceptually similar to the one which Facebook will use when it introduces the verified application program. We’re still waiting to hear the official effects of being a verified application; however, [...]

  10. Facebook Getting Closer to Sharing More Concrete Details Around App Verification Program says:

    [...] been 5 months to the day since Facebook formally launched its application verification program, intended to increase user trust in applications and reward verified developers with increased [...]

  11. Facebook Will Share Details About Facebook Verified Apps says:

    [...] five months ago facebook has launched an applications verifications program which will increase the user’s trust on the applications. In before, facebook informing about [...]

  12. CourseFeed Application Reaches 1 Million Users; Verified App Announcements Soon says:

    [...] program, announced at last year’s f8 developer conference in July and launched in November, is designed to distinguish applications that meet the guiding principles for [...]

  13. More Streams: Facebook to Upgrade App Directory, App About Pages Soon says:

    [...] new Profile Page,” Facebook says. It’s been a long time since Facebook originally announced the verification program, so developers are keen to see just what advantages the verification program [...]

  14. Facebook Certifies First Batch of 120 Verified Applications says:

    [...] verification program, which was announced last July and launched in November, is designed to give more prominence to applications which meet Facebook’s [...]

  15. The New Platform Goldrush Guide: Why You Probably Don’t Want to Build an iPhone App - Widget and Facebook App Development and Design - Metablocks says:

    [...] addition to customer acquisition via apps, charging for SDKs, “verification” programs, and advertising other mechanisms such as plaform-wide micro-payments, directory listing fees, and [...]

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