Today Facebook will announce the upcoming changes to the platform which we highlighted earlier this week. While we aren’t going to be able to make the developer garage, Mike Arrington has already highlighted some of the upcoming changes, one of which is massive: “apps will no longer be able to publish to notifications.” Developers have spent the past two years optimizing their notifications strategies to drive most of their traffic.
Developers have already been damaged by the new homepage, however some have bit hit more dramatically than others. We’ve heard numbers varying between 20 percent and 70 percent. With the removal of notifications, developers will be eagerly awaiting the news from Facebook to find out what new channels are being offered as the majority of “viral channels” are now dead in the water, if Arrington’s sources are accurate.
One new channel according to Mike Arrington is notifications in the inbox. There will also be others apparently but we don’t know what they are as of now. Also it sounds as though Facebook is going to get a bit more aggressive. If the company doesn’t want applications on their platform, they’ll simply shut them down or take some other form of action. In theory this means no more back and forth on technical issues, such as the ongoing conversations with ad networks.
Facebook Treads Carefully
The changes will be dramatic and there will no doubt be blood, however Facebook’s livelihood is at risk with these new changes which is why we doubt they’d completely pull the rug out from developers. Instead, we’re guessing that new distribution channels will be announced and developers will be forced to adjust their applications in a certain amount of time.
While some applications may cease to exist on the platform, the top developers will most likely adapt just as they have in the past. Many developers will be more than a little frustrated to say the least. Some developers I spoke with simply said no words could express their frustration. Others are being less dramatic about the upcoming changes, however it’s clear that this will be the second shakeup of the platform.
Over a year ago Facebook removed the boxes from profiles and that was a big deal at the time, but many developers were able to push through. The developer community is extremely important to Facebook to say the least. The company also understands how important developers are to the survival of the platform which is why I’d expect a basic overview of the upcoming changes later today followed by a roll-out period.
There’s no doubt that the developers are on edge though.