One dissenter: Mike Lazerow, CEO of BuddyMedia, a company that makes apps for brand names like FedEx and Priceline.com. Mike thinks that the redesign, which launches next week, is a good thing. His reasoning:
- It’s good for users: Crappy, spammy apps are turning off users. The redesign will help reduce their ranks. “A lot of the Facebook developers have taken a very short-term view of their business. It’s all about getting users at any cost, whatever it takes. And I think that we all agree that it’s been a little overboard.”
- It’s good for brands: Less clutter and spam will make Facebook more attractive to major brands. Of course, bringing major brands to Facebook is BuddyMedia’s core business.
- Ergo, what’s good for users and brands is good for developers: Reducing the clutter will make the good apps shine, and advertisers will want to use those apps to reach the users. “Developers that create applications that are actually cool and engaging, users are going to use and find and send to friends.”
Of course, this is also the Facebook party line about its redesign. And it doesn’t change the fact that there are “good” apps — ones with large, loyal followings — that could suffer when the redesign goes live. Mike pointed out that apps that rely on the wall or the profile to spread could be in trouble, which we agree with. And some of those apps are the biggest on the network. Slide’s FunWall and RockYou’s Super Wall are always near the top of the “Most Active Users” chart, and these apps rely heavily on profile real estate to spread. And Slide, at least, seems to be worried. They’re decided to stop making new apps on the network — though the company insists the decision isn’t tied to the redesign.