Previously, Facebook went with a three-column format, but now there’s only two. That means that the right-most column that was previously filled with new app messages and notifications is gone. Which means that profiles are lot cleaner — and a lot more difficult to get your custom app featured on. Those apps that used to line the right column now live within the ‘Boxes’ tab (first I’ve ever heard that term used on Facebook). When clicked, that tab expands to reveal all your installed applications, but also keeps them out of plain sight. Again, nice and tidy for users, but troublesome for marketers.
Truth is, Facebook's anticlutter efforts are doing these marketers a favor. During the Facebook platform's first year, users installed apps with abandon — and then abandoned them. But since oft-installed apps remained on user profiles, they were still considered a success. No longer. Now apps will need to be used — and need to be useful — to be considered a success. And it'll be that much harder for brands to create applications that Facebook users appreciate — but that much easier to get value out of the ones they actually use.