Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Facebook has set the gold standard for developer engagement with feedback center

Developers Lead on Facebook Platform Engagement

Tyler Ballance as an early developer had created a Bugs App to track bugs and feature request for facebook and other developer apps in mid 2007 and facebook took over with their Bugzilla app to let developers openly share feature requests.

Facebook Platform has been a living breathing thing growing with new apis every day with a loyal following of developers with 600K apps and close to 200 meetups/garages worldwide. Facebook Platform's strength is that facebook truly listens to developers (not necessarily agree to everything) and let developers lead the growth of their platform. They have wikis, Forums and a Platform Page to engage with developers on a daily basis.

Open Feedback Center - A new gold standard for developer engagement

Now, Facebook has adapted a new level of transparency by Opening a Feedback Center.

This allows for developers to submit feedback on the developer related documentation and rest of the community to vote on it. It is an important step towards openness and not being afraid to listen. This is focused on documentation only so they have made their survey a monthly feature.

As facebook opens new apis, one common caveat developers face is that they get excited by a reference implementation, or from a blog post about the new api only to find that the api is not available in their preferred language of choice. I remember developers excited by status.get didn't find the Javascript version and went about to build their own wrapper.

So this is a great start for facebook to understand what developers truly want, the voting justifying the volume of developers asking particular support.

What caught my eye the first time I clicked on the Opening a Feedback Center was that Facebok chose UserVoice to provide this capability and allows user's to login using facebook, twitter, Google, Yahoo, OpenID or MyspaceID before it is mapped into a new UserVoice account. It is amazing that Facebook is truly open here.

It seems fitting in this era of social media to come from the leader in the social platform space.


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