Widgetmaker: How not to get your app suspended from Facebook

Over the past month, Facebook has shown itself to have a quicker trigger when it comes to banning applications from its site for rule violations. It's part of the reason, observers say, that venture capital for Facebook-app startups is slowing down. The punished include apps from major developers RockYou and Slide. But they also include guys like developer Dan Abelon, who saw his popular SpeedDate widget booted from the platform for a couple hours earlier this month. Abelon told Inside Facebook what other application developers should do to make sure the same doesn't happen to them. The bullet points — which paint a picture of Facebook as a fairly ruthless enforcer — are below, trimmed to give widgetmakers more time to call those VCs who suddenly all seem to be on vacation all the time.

  • Stay up to date with Facebook’s changes to their guidelines, especially in the Developers Wiki.
  • If a rule is ambiguous, err on the conservative side. Don’t push the limits.
  • Look at other apps, but be wary about borrowing.
  • If Facebook has taken any action, As soon as you identify the issue, alter your code and contact Facebook to let them know.
  • Focus on building highly engaging apps.
  • If you feel like your app is in the clear, spend your time working on the new profile redesign!