Recent Warnings from Facebook about “desktop web game off Facebook.com”

I believe many Facebook developers should have received email from Facebook warning them about their “desktop web game off Facebook.com”.

In summary, the warnings include

  •  Your desktop web game hosted primarily off Facebook currently accesses user connections when authenticating and/or requests additional permissions beyond age, email, and publishing permissions.
  •  Your Canvas/mobile game currently shares the same app ID with a desktop web game off Facebook.com, which is no longer allowed per Facebook Platform Policy I.13b.
  • Your Canvas/mobile game currently promotes or links to game sites off of Facebook, which is no longer allowed per Facebook Platform Policy I.13b.

First of all, as far as I know, there is no clear definition from Facebook on the term “desktop web game”.   On the other hand, it was confirmed that even you have set your facebook application to have a category other than “game” in the facebook app settings, it does not mean Facebook will not treat your app as “game”.  Personally, it seems to me that all facebook apps are actually “games” in Facebook’s eyes.  So, be careful with that!

Next, I think one of the reasons for enforcing these rules is that Facebook want to make sure most users will stay within the Facebook canvas, or at least third party apps should not intentionally “encourage” the users to move away from Facebook canvas.  Probably they think that by using so, Facebook can earn more ad revenue.

For me, I don’t care too much about the above actually.  My main interest is to know what should I change so as to comply to the policy (otherwise I will be having a risk that my apps will be banned on 5Dec).  Below is my consolidation on what you should do if you have received these warnings:

  1. If your canvas or mobile app does not have a Connect integration you should remove the URL from this field to avoid a subsequent notice.
  2. Check if your canvas app promotes or links to a desktop web game off Facebook, that will need to be addressed. Examples of violations include linking to a desktop web game within the canvas page, including links from the canvas app’s privacy policy.

Let see what will happen on 5Dec!

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