Mr. Zuckerberg [Facebook’s 24-year-old chief executive] ... reflected on the 15 months since Facebook opened up its site to outside companies and invited them to build profitable features for it.
The move was generally seen as smart and somewhat momentous inside the tech world. Facebook says 400,000 developers have worked on tools for the site...
But Facebook’s platform has also generated its share of controversy. Many trivial applications have clogged the site, and sought to spread themselves among users using a variety of tricks. Frustrated, Facebook has tried to counter that and put more emphasis on significant and trustworthy applications.
“As happy as I am with the growth of the ecosystem, there are a lot of mistakes we made,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “I think we can all agree that we don’t want an ecosystem full of applications that are just trying to spread themselves.”
To that end, Facebook announced a series of new incentives for developers to write what it characterized as “meaningful” tools for the service. It said it would pick certain applications that meet a set of Facebook principles to be part of a new “Great Apps” program.
Those applications will get higher visibility on the service and will be able to work more closely with Facebook. Causes, a charitable giving tool, and iLike, a music sharing service, were the first two applications to receive this designation...
Facebook said it was also setting up another level of certification, called the Facebook Verification program, for applications that meet the basic criteria of being secure and trustworthy. These applications will get added visibility and a graphical “badge.”
25 July 2008
From an article on the New York Times (emphases in red are mine):