Facebook Development Platform : Is it still Relevant?


Facebook opened up their technology and tools for third party app developers way back in 2007 with the aim of broadening the reach of the social network. Facebook saw a unique opportunity in the market to allow app developers to use their platform and tools to build apps on, and in return collect analytics. For social networks like Facebook, remaining relevant is of utmost importance. This initiative ensured they would constantly get information about their users, clearly indicating to them what direction they should be headed in.

No surprises here, when it came out it was a massive success. The number of games and applications available on Facebook stands as a solid proof of the same. However, over the years developers have steadily moved away. If you are an app developer wondering whether it still makes sense to build an app on Facebook, I encourage you to read on to find out the most popular reasons developers cite for moving away from Facebook.

People no longer use in-Facebook apps

Users have changed over the years. Back in 2007, users spent a larger amount of time on Facebook, trying out all the applications on it. With users going mobile and the sheer number of games and mobile applications available today, Facebook has gone back to just being a social network.

Facebook is too Dynamic

To ensure the apps and Facebook grow in the same direction, Facebook provides some APIs to the app developers. However, each time Facebook makes design or structural changes,developers are expected to change their apps to ensure its compatible. This constant change is often too much to ask of app developers and they often end up spending too much time and money re-doing their app.

Many better opportunities for Developers

Developers have so many opportunities in-front of them. With more and more Open Source Development tools available and app development in general becoming easier and cheaper they no longer need to rely on the tools and assistance provided by Facebook. Also, Facebook does not encourage apps once it gets too popular and they often use this as a reason to kick them out.

Facebook has undoubtedly offered developers a lot while asking for very little. However, the IT scene has drastically changed. I honestly do not feel that their development platform is relevant for app developers today. For that matter, building apps on other applications might not be the best way to realize your dream application. Look a couple of years into the future, decide where you want to see your enterprise and app and choose wisely.