After being shut down for supposed trademark infringement, the developer behind the iPad application wanted to get her voice heard. She reached out to us to discuss her side of the story which was surprisingly legitimate. While her defense for the name of the application is not a legitimate precedent, it sounds as though she was a passionate developer. Read her letter below.
I should note that she makes a great observation: there are also numerous other iPhone applications profiting from violating Facebook’s trademark. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. My guess is that Dil, the developer of the application, will have a renamed version in no time at all.
I am individual developer, mother of two working on this app on my spare time. I am a big facebook fan and me and my family use it a lot. After realizing that the free facebook client did not have a few features that I wanted, I decided to write my own ultimate facebook client for iphone. The app was released on iphone app store March 3rd. It took some time for the app to go up and show up in top 50 paid apps. I got a lot of good reviews from people which motivated me to keep updating and improving the app. To be honest I really love my app because it helps you organize your posts and to control your social media, I also added fun features like picture decoration and slideshow that unfortunately I don’t believe too many iPad users even got to experience because of the comparisons with the standard facebook client 🙁
I went thru the formal submit process and followed every instruction from apple’s and facebook’s development policy. I picked the name based on the precedence from facebook apps in the app store (facebook chat, facebook icons, facebook reloaded, facebook video uploader, facebook pixter and many others). I designed the icon myself trying to make it use a different ‘F’ than facebook because all the rest of the apps had the exact ‘F’ from facebook on their icon so I used a different shade of blue, a different font and made it italic and added some shading. I only used open APIs provided by facebook and even ran into issues because of API restrictions that did not let me do some of the stuff that the free facebook app can. When I received the call for iPad app submission, I decided to port the app to the iPad so that people that liked it on the iPhone could use it on their iPads (me being one of them). Granted that the app does not have the best iPad UI look but it has great functionality. Never did I dream that the app would end up in the 7th place after the first day.
The problem I see is that, people on iPad, did not read my description of the app and they got confused about this being the official facebook client, so then I modified the description to explicitly say that I was not related to facebook and pointed them to the video tutorials of the existing iPhone app on my website, but that still did not make any difference. I never had this problem with my iPhone users in the past month, but I did have the problem that users were not understanding how to use all the features, so I made video tutorials for the iPhone and that is when the app started moving up. Unfortunately, I did not port those tutorials to the iPad because I thought only my Iphone users would be the ones buying the app, so I can see that not a lot of users were even able to use the features that are unique to my app and they were comparing it with the official facebook app which was never my intention.