Facebook to charge developers for verifying applications

Developers of applications for Facebook's social networking platform were left upset on Monday, when Facebook unveiled an optional verification service for developers.

The new verification process aims to improve the quality and trustworthiness of applications on Facebook by reviewing submitted applications for their transparency and trustworthiness as well as how useful they are.

However, developers looking to have their application verified will have to pay $375 per application submitted, although the fee is reduced to $175 for students and non-profit organisations. If the application is verified, the verification will last just one year, requiring that the developer re-submits their application to the process, and pays the fee, on an annual basis.

Verified applications will get a "badge" displayed in the application listings and information pages, increased visibility in news feeds, $100 advertising credit and larger allocations of requests, notifications and emails.

While Facebook believes that verification will benefit developers, the developers most certainly disagree. Developers posted comments on the Facebook announcement with a variety of complaints about the new process.

"Users already dis-trust applications on Facebook platform. Now they will dis-trust unverified applications even more. This seems unfair - my application is already 'well designed', 'trustworthy' and 'meaningful' to thousands of users. And I've spent a lot of time making it that way, " posted one developer in the announcement thread, "why should I pay $375 a year just because Facebook allowed so many useless, spammy applications in the first place? Why should my application suffer just because I don't spam my users with adverts (and don't make any profits)?"

Another developer said "The irony is ALL the apps in the directory are already reviewed and approved and should meet all the standards laid out by Facebook. How can they launch this program without admitting that most apps don't actually meet their own standards even after having been approved? What's next, super extra verified apps for $2000"?

Verified applications will start to appear on Facebook in early 2009.

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