Season 6 cast

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Yesterday, Facebook unleashed its “Verified Apps Program”.

Facebook says they expect at least 10% of the 48,000 applications currently available to eventually become Verified Apps, although they won’t speculate beyond that.

To become a verified app, first developers must adhere to the following three guidelines:

Secure: Protects user data and honors privacy choices for everyone across the social graph. Facebook users are deliberate and specific about which data they choose to share, how they share it, and with whom. All applications must respect users’ choices and the choices of their friends by only accessing, using and sharing data users have explicitly allowed. Users put their trust in Facebook, our Platform and your applications. This trust enables us to provide with social information for your applications. So it is up to all of us to earn and maintain user trust.

Respectful: Values user attention and honors their intentions in communications and actions. Users trust that when they use your application, you will represent their intent and best interests, especially the messages you send about them or on their behalf. The more control you give them over how you represent them, the more likely they are to trust your application and want to use it more. Make sure to also value users’ time by employing proper communication channels and neither spamming users, nor encouraging them to become spammers.

Transparent: Explains how features will work and how they won’t work, especially in triggering user-to-user communications. Nothing is more frustrating than to click a button expecting one thing to happen and having something entirely different and confusing happen instead. Even worse is sending communications to a user’s friends that the user did not intend or want to send. This can undermine a user’s personal relationships and deters users from freely communicating on Facebook and through applications. The best applications are clear about their features and don’t try to deceive users.

Oh, and in a Columbo-like development, “there’s just one more thing”…

Developers also have to pay $375.

There’s a word for this kind of system. It’s called a  Protection Racket.

It’s really going to be a very profitable model.  Nothing wrong with making a quick buck or two here and there.

Michael Arrington from TechCruch makes a great point, however…

“If an application isn’t meaningful, trustworthy and well designed, why is it in the app store at all?”

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