One of Facebook’s main goals in implementing their redesign was to get rid of the clutter, which really means getting rid of the widgets and badges that sit on a user’s profile but didn’t really do anything.
Nick O’Neill over at All Facebook created one such geegaw – a Bush Countdown Clock – as a joke when the platform first opened last year. Since Facebook overhauled the site’s design, traffic has bottomed out (see graph below). Nick takes this to mean that widgets are dead on Facebook.
Why is this happening? Since the badges now go on the “boxes” tab and not on your main profile page, nobody ever sees them. And since they don’t actually have a way for users to interact with the application outside of the profile, users never see stories about them in their news feeds.
From Facebook’s perspective, this is great news – they want applications to be robust, not just one-off jokes that sit on your profile long after you’re done with them. For many developers, this means they’ll have to find something else to do. The good news? The developers that actually want to build a business are responding to the changes.