announced this afternoon that the company will now offer more high-profile placement for applications that are verified as trustworthy and pay an application fee for the honor.Facebook
The biggest problem with Facebook apps is probably not that they are security-violating and spam-happy. The biggest problem is that this incredible medium for global communication is being polluted by applications that are mind-numbing, insipid and pander to the lowest common denominator of humanity - even if they are otherwise well behaved.
on the Facebook platform's guidelines page. The first guideline is that the apps should be meaningful and useful! Any time spent in the app directory will show just how meaningless that guideline is.Vetting apps for "trustworthiness" is a good idea, but trustworthiness is just one of the criteria listed
The new Verified Apps program will be based on three criteria:
- Secure: Protects user data and honors privacy choices for everyone across the social graph
- Respectful: Values user attention and honors their intentions in communications and actions
- Transparent: Explains how features will work and how they won't work, especially in triggering user-to-user communications
Those all sound like good ideas that any decent app should follow, presumably all but a few apps written by students and international developers unable to pay $375 will be accepted as trustworthy. Meanwhile, apps are still treated like second class citizens in the newly redesigned Facebook (they are hidden in the background) and very few truly useful ones have access to enough oxygen to grow.
This verification process should have been in place when the platform launched, though there were so many apps coming through the pipe at the time that such a program might not have been tenable. Now enthusiasm has declined greatly so a vetting program may be less of a challenge.
Honestly, though, Facebook has far more potential than the app platform at least is realizing and its problems run deeper than a verification program is going to solve.