Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Some Facebook Apps Are Actually More Equal Than Others

Tomorrow, when it rolls out its new platform, one of the more interesting pieces of news from Facebook will be its initiative to dub certain of its third-party app developers more special than others.

According to sources, the social-networking site has selected just two, in fact, iLike and Causes, to receive “preferred” status.

Several sources said that this initiative has to do with developing in a way more in line with the goals of Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Some issues Facebook has had since unleashing third-party applications on its platform last year have been related to the widgets producing too much spam, not having adequate privacy protection and simply being too buggy.

Included in the criteria for inclusion as a preferred partner is being “meaningful” and also not having been in violation of a wide range of Facebook policies in the past. Individual apps can be approved, even though others made by the same developer might not be.

Causes and iLike are the inaugural partners in the program, with others to follow.

Perhaps more interesting about this move is why two of Facebook’s major developers, Slide and RockYou, are not part of the preferred program.

The pair that have been are among Facebook’s most popular.

iLike is a hugely popular music discovery and sharing service (I will be posting a video of my visit to its Seattle offices tomorrow) and Causes is an app that allows users to share information about various charities and social initiatives.

Facebook declined to comment on the initiative.

But it surely will tomorrow. Facebook is in the midst of a major redesign of its service and will be mounting its second developers’ conference tomorrow in San Francisco.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus