Hiding Facebook Applications? Not Good For Developers, Developers, Developers!

Posted Jan 13, 2008

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Facebook is good at hyping up a feature, then hiding behind privacy controls after user revolts.  News feeds, Facebook Applications, and Beacon are the biggest examples.  Personally, I thought that when Facebook Applications first came out, I thought it was a bad idea.  Because I thought Facebook would look too similar to MySpace.  But then I saw how much of a financial ecosystem was created around Facebook Applications and how entrepreneurism was promoted through the development of the Applications.  As a user myself, I started to embrace the Applications.

I was surprised to see that a couple of days ago, Julie Zhuo stated that there will be upcoming changes to user profiles:

We will soon be launching a â??profile clean-upâ? tool. Similar to how your computerâ??s desktop will remind you to get rid of unused icons, this tool will give users the option to move extra profile boxes to an â??extended portionâ? of their profile. Users can choose to move these boxes; we will recommend that they keep the Friends Box, Mini-Feed, Wall, Basic and Personal Information as well as the top 12 application boxes they have added. At the bottom of the profile will then be a link to â??Show Extended Profileâ?. Any user will be able to expand the profile at any point in time to see all the applications a user has added to their profile.

When I look at a Facebook profile and see how long the scrollbar is, I make sure to scope out the whole thing, just to make sure I did not miss out on anything interesting.  If I see that there is an Show Extended Profile option, I would not bother clicking it because if its not on the main profile page, its not important.  The people that add these Applications are not fools.  They should know how to remove them if they don’t like them.  You just hit the X and Remove the Application.  Its as simple as closing a window on Windows.

And this could be a turnoff for Application developers.  And we all know that Facebook’s biggest investor, Microsoft feels about developers, developers, developers.