Facebook’s Application Profile Box Deprecation Process Is Starting Now

Late last week, Facebook said that its profile box deprecation process, which it originally announced a few months ago, would begin this week. According to that post, application profile boxes would no longer be able to be added to user profile pages starting this week, and starting in “early August,” application boxes would be booted from the profile page altogether.

Today, Facebook got a little ahead of schedule, as it actually removed application boxes from profile pages altogether for a few hours. They’re now back – but despite some user complaints, they’re still slated for permanent removal soon.

Facebook’s treatment of application integration with the profile page has been an interesting story over the years since the Platform launched. Initially after the Platform opened in 2007, profile boxes became an extremely powerful way for applications to spread “virally.” At that time, app boxes could be installed on user profile pages in either a “wide”format on the right side of the page, or a “narrow” format on the left side of the page.

Since then, however, Facebook has taken significant steps to change the way apps have presence on the profile. Facebook removed the “wide” format option, and height-limited the “narrow” format option, instead encouraging developers to get users to publish News Feed items and install tabs for their applications. While this hurt distribution for many apps that were primarily designed to be viral profile widgets, Facebook actually largely viewed allowing profile boxes so much profile real estate as a danger for the long term growth of the service.

Why? Ultimately, Facebook believed that allowing too much flexibility in profile design would affect user engagement. As a result, while other sites like MySpace allow relatively deep customization of the profile page for “self expression” purposes – everything from background images to color palettes – Facebook has instead chosen to make the stream the consistently dominant element of the profile page. It’s almost as if Facebook views profile boxes as a mistake, that they’ve had to gradually undo over the last couple of years.

So, just as one final note to developers: all profile boxes will be removed soon.

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Leave a Reply

25 Responses to “Facebook’s Application Profile Box Deprecation Process Is Starting Now”

  1. Anatoly says:

    They should notify users, not developers about this. Not notifying users about removing application profile boxes upcoming change is unfair since users get angry about developers not facebook for removing their profile boxes.

  2. fuckfacebook says:

    this is a slap in the face of every developer and user on facebook.

    we have not been notified this will come into effect. they keep things hush hush.

    give me a contact number to facebook my lawyer will start the process.

  3. Jakub says:

    And what about boxes on Facebook Pages (not profile pages)? It will be removed as well?

  4. Kathleen says:

    I love my flags, I want my flags, its my space, and I want them on the front of my page not in a tab where I can’t see them! My flags are on my side and your ads and info stuff is on the right- don’t get greedy – leave my flags alone!

  5. Alexandra says:

    This is disappointing ! How can one express one’s personality while socializing! The box’s help to express one’s self. Are people suppose to read my mind? NOT!
    The box’s keep it simple ; you add to profile page or remove the box to the box section as u like!
    I have a degree in computer administration and i find that people are struggling to just to put in box applications on there profiles!
    This should be a personal choice instead!
    I’m sure that there are benefits coming to make the FB profile nicer but people don’t have much time but to say hello and play a game. More complications is no fun. Unless ur planning to put like a replacement option.

  6. Aevwen says:

    piss off…twitter okfor me

  7. Schulze says:

    Good move. Seems that facebook knows a lot!

  8. PattyNC says:

    I guess Freedom of speech is being taken away aginst the rule of law which is our Constitutional rights.Thanks To the Communist agenda

  9. Aris says:

    I think facebook just want to clean user profiles so that they can introduce some more valuable features. If you have too much information on one page than you can not use it effectively. This is the reason they are removing less important features so that they can introduce new location based service which really help users to communicate in completely different manner. Just wait and watch, i think they have taken this step for the betterment of the people and their platform.

  10. Kaddu says:

    @ Aris: Yeah? Well why not let the users decide for themselves what content they want to keep on their profile pages, and what they want to move into Tabs? Why take away our freedom of choice? I agree with Kathleen and Alexandra. They’re taking away our freedom of expression. There’s so much we can convey about ourself in a small box. Do we really have the time & desire to scroll through dozens of tabs on our friends’ FB profiles? It’s a rotten move… not to mention a very SNEAKY move, since hardly any of the users are yet aware of this decision. In all probability, FB is going to use all that extra space, on the left of the profile page as well as on the new tabs that people are forced to add, for displaying more ads.

  11. Kathy Dosta says:

    it completely and totally sucks facebook is removing the profile stuff… tabs suck. facebook sucks for removing the profile ability. why? it’s stupid considering most facebook users are having fits about it. just stupid.

  12. john crowley says:

    Looks like its time to go to MySpace.

  13. Ivee says:

    When finally something fun appears in facebook they remove it,, facebook is making a mistake now they gonna be boring like ever,, this is really stupid, aplications in facebook profile make our profiles colorfull, pretty and fun, why they have to do this?? ,, all that they want is a white and blue boring space.

  14. SisterGalaxy says:

    ARGH! Facebook pisses me off. I agree with you Ivee – all the fun stuff gets removed.

  15. blam says:

    fuck facebook and its totalitarian policies.

    i just hope something better comes along so i could invite my friends to jump the wagon.

  16. D.V.T says:

    Facebook become worser after changes :(. I can’t understand what they think. Did they hear users’ voice??? Or maybe they think 500m users are too much and want to reduce these number…

  17. fuckfacebook says:

    bunch of liars, thieves, and fascists!

  18. ali says:

    it’s really annoying – if my space hasn’t given it up totally and tried to follow facebook with strengthening their platform, now they would have had a chance for come back as they totally allow what facebook is taking away from users – expression – but myspace is out of the game! me too waiting for another social network platform to come around to jump the bandwagon – fuck facebook

  19. Joy says:

    FB removes the flags and now they are being charged for because it costs money to “Fly them”. Yeah, and it cost us to get onto the net to reach FB! So it is already costing us to get FB! Is Mark Z so desperate that he needs to collect more money that way? Come on folks…. aren’t the ads you have replaced our personal space with bringing in enough revenue? If not, it isn’t our fault, surely the punters have kicked in more that a couple dollars to hand back to Mark. Lighten up Peeps, these really are hard times for a lot of us and we have given up all entertainment BUT the internet. Cut it out U guys… we really can find something else to do if you push us enough.

  20. Safia says:

    Where there is smoke there is fire—Facebook want to play these tactical games with it’s users in preparation to ambushing them with something —not so nice! They were testing the waters all these years and now is a ripe time to jump the users with a catch–pay up or else is what i suspect–its called GREED! Why else would they take something that works and smash it to pieces and then turn around giving these lame excuses! Facebook, you for pouncing on us like that! Treat your subscribers with no dignity —i for one will shut down my page and find something else! Ciao!

  21. yusuf says:


  22. anymous says:

    first..i lost my bigphoto…and now,my flag too??
    OMG…i can’t believe that…I can’t agree with this!!!!!!!!!

  23. Hah says:

    For all those that are threatening to leave facebook for making changes – good riddance. Good luck on whatever other websites you find. To those saying that facebook is taking away your “freedom” of anything, well think again. You have no say, you don’t pay anything so you’re not a “subscriber” like someone else mentioned. Know the facts and stop acting like idiots. Thanks.

  24. Simon says:

    Seriously, MySpace pages are incredibly annoying for the most part with the seizure inducing flashing animations, music automatically loading, pictures jammed around everywhere. I am glad facebook prevents the technologically inept from making their pages “pretty” like they do when they have more control of the space. That said, it looks like they are moving more toward the Twitter model with news streams being not the central focus but the only focus. Facebook was always kind of a balance between the two extremes but that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. They seem to stay ahead of the curve most of the time so we’ll see how this pans out.

  25. Wolf says:

    damn you facebook leave my freakin stuff alone i dont care how long it takes the stupid page to load touch my tabs and you will regret it so leave my stuff alone and get the hell over it just Do Not touch MY tabs dont touch any of them!

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