Mike Isaac

Recent Posts by Mike Isaac

With New Timeline Tweaks, Facebook Continues Courting App Developers

Like we’ve said before: Facebook really wants developers to build apps into its platform.

The company announced a few design tweaks to its Timeline product on Wednesday, rethinking the presentation of third-party applications that appear on users’ Timeline pages. Users can now manually tweak which apps they want displayed on their pages, while apps get more space on the page in other areas, with some now appearing under a user’s “About” tab.

Not exactly gigantic news, and it’s not surprising, given the rethink of how content will be displayed within the News Feed. App developers want more prominent placement in front of Facebook users, and Facebook needs to show them that it’s worth it to continue building apps for its platform.

Thing is, my guess is that Timeline placement isn’t as huge a way to drive traffic to a developer’s apps as prominent placement in the News Feed is. And much of this Facebook Timeline tweaking requires that users manually manipulate which apps appear in their Timeline. Given that people on the whole are lazy, I’m not sold that most, or even many, users will do this sort of curation.

Anyway, that probably doesn’t matter. It’s a way to convince app developers that, yes!, you will show up for users! And it is worth building into Facebook’s platform!

Let’s see if it works.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik