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Improving the Platform Experience and Policy Transparency

April 30, 2010ByRobyn Reiss

As stewards of the rapidly growing Facebook Platform, we're committed to creating an ecosystem that developers find compelling and encourages them to build engaging applications. We believe a strong user experience — that's both appealing and trustworthy — is an integral part of a compelling platform. Trust keeps users coming back, and encourages them to share with their friends. Both help your applications grow.

However, spam undermines user trust. We often hear this concern from developers and users alike. We define spam as something the recipient sees as inauthentic, promotional, irrelevant, clearly uninitiated by the sender, or simply voluminous. We want users to have confidence that the information delivered to them on Facebook is relevant and useful.

We're taking steps to help reduce spam on Facebook in two ways:

  • By increasing our presence in the Developer Forum, where we can answer your questions about spam and other policy-related issues
  • By increasing our enforcement against spammy applications

In response to your requests for more guidance and transparency about policy from Facebook, the policy team will increase its activity in the Developer Forum, answering your questions and starting new discussions around topics on our mind. When we find themes and conclusions, we'll publish them on the Examples and Explanations document, where you can see our intentions around policy.

At the same time, to provide a better user experience, we're stepping up our enforcement efforts against spammy applications, especially against spam in stream stories. It's important that all developers adhere to our guidelines, from the smallest to the largest. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. It's our intention to change this through enhanced enforcement efforts.

We are also performing more automated actions on Platform, where we remove spammy applications based on user feedback, machine learning, and various algorithms. We think you'll agree that removing spammy applications adds to user trust of Platform, and in turn will make the ecosystem stronger for all developers.

These steps are part of our continued focus on providing the best user experience. We recently updated our policies as part of publishing the Facebook developer roadmap, talked about how we would enforce based on principles, and updated you on our stream publishing policies. We're very pleased with how the user experience across Platform has improved so far, and we'll continue to make improvements as needed.

We invite you to submit policy questions in the Developer Forum and look forward to working with you to create an even better user experience on Facebook Platform.

Robyn is looking forward to improved experiences on Facebook Platform for users and developers.