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Forbes : Facebook developers are fearful

The launch (opens in new tab) of Facebook's Social Ads project on Tuesday 6th November got a number of developers feeling uneasy working with the young company.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, revealed on Social Ads's launch that there are more than 80 Facebook Applications that have 1 million users or more each but only a handful will ultimately survive.

Why? Well, part of the answer comes from Zuckerberg's acknowledgement "that his company reserves the right to build anything it wants and compete with any of its independent developers" but in a fair way.

That's basically the stance that Microsoft might have adopted towards any third party firm developing for the Windows platform.

In the real world, they might be sued or condemned for such a move. Not so for Facebook.

Many developers fear that the introduction of ruthless economic strategies in the Facebook ecosystem will eventually lead to a virtual Darwinistic scenario where only the most branded ones will survive.

Which is why Google Open Social looks so attractive to developers, like the Linux-Windows scenario; not putting all eggs in one basket is an astute move.

Tuesday was certainly a wakeup call for a number of Facebook startups which thought they could get a free ride on the Facebook phenomenon.

Google's corporate motto is "Don't be evil" and although Facebook doesn't have a motto yet, Zuckerberg suggested that it maybe "Make the world more open".

Getting your developers nervous about their own future is not the ideal way to get things going.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.