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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Guiding Principles of App Strategy

Problem

Are there any general principles of Facebook app strategy that I should keep in mind while designing my app?

Solution

The Facebook team has published a set of Guiding Principles that they encourage all Platform developers to follow, grouped into three categories:

  • Applications should be Meaningful.

  • Applications should be Trustworthy.

  • Applications should be Well-Designed.

You should try to follow all of the Principles in your app’s design, particularly if you plan to apply to fbFund for funding. You can find the full list at http://developers.facebook.com/get_started.php?tab=principles.

Discussion

The Facebook Guiding Principles are great, and you should read and practice them, but the full list is a little long. Here’s a short list of things that will almost certainly make your app more successful, each of which includes some questions that you can ask yourself while you’re designing your application, to help you stay focused:

Create value

People use things that add value to their lives and throw away things that don’t. Your own use of Facebook apps will show the same trend: the ones that actually add value to your use of Facebook remain in your Profile and the rest get installed, stick around for a bit like a bad cold, and then get flushed down the toilet with the used tissues. Ask yourself, “What’s the value this feature provides to my users?” as you work through your app’s design.

Help users communicate and share information more efficiently

This ...

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