Facebook developers head for the hills

Social networking site Facebook may see an end to its popularity soon, with new research claiming the numbers of developers writing applications for the site are dropping.

Facebook has enjoyed growing popularity since 2004, with Microsoft last year buying a 1.6% stake in the company valued at $240 million.

But according to SVP IT analyst David Mitchell, a 27% decline in active users, and 47% decline in highly active users, on the Facebook Developers’ Forum points to a problem for the social network.

Mitchell says a key reason for the fall is that many applications do not last long on Facebook users’ pages because of clutter and privacy concerns.

“Most applications are installed for a day or so but are quickly removed as it becomes evident that they are only concerned with self-propagation and the collection of data on your social graph,” Mitchell says.

“In a more traditional application world, an application that tries to self propagate and that takes personal data is usually classified as a virus and is removed as soon as it is detected, before it can cause harm. The same is beginning to happen with Facebook applications.”


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