Facebook on Monday announced it is reopening applications to its Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) program. There are two new twists though: the company is moving to a referral-based system, and PMD badges now have new requirements.

For those wondering, the PMD program is Facebook’s attempt to build a community of developers who are great at social marketing. Badges are awarded to firms that develop the “highest quality products” that build on top of the social network.

PMD Facebook reopens its Preferred Marketing Developer program with a referral based system and new requirements

First let’s look at the referral-based system. Facebook says the whole point is to prioritize firms that “have proven success working with our internal teams or ads-qualified PMDs.” In other words, the company wants to focus on those with bigger pockets.

Here’s how Facebook justifies the change:

Throughout the history of the PMD Program, we’ve learned that companies referred to us by a trusted, credible and informed source were much more likely to ultimately join the program as they had proven to be successful on our platform and with marketers. Additionally, the intrinsic link between paid, earned, and owned media on Facebook means that all PMDs, ads or otherwise, must have a deep knowledge and understanding across all badged areas to ensure marketer success.

Furthermore, Facebook is also announcing new requirements for its PMD badge that center around its four qualification areas: Pages, Ads, Apps and Insights. The company hopes this will encourage candidates and members to focus on “deeper integrations” across these and facilitate the implementation of certain features that Facebook cares about (the News Feed, Open Graph insights, and Pages insights).

In reality, this just means PMD applicants have to go through the long list of qualifications to make sure they are following Facebook’s stance. The updated page in question is here: How to get the badge.

Last month, Facebook temporarily closed its PMD program. The company said it was reconsidering its badge requirements and process as a result of the volume of applications.

At the time, Facebook also issued the following statement to Inside Facebook:

What we are working on, just as we do for brands and agencies, is ensuring that the PMD ecosystem is comprehensive in its knowledge of the entire Facebook marketing platform versus a smaller subset. The intrinsic link between paid, earned, and owned media on Facebook means that PMDs must have a deep knowledge and understanding across all of those areas to ensure marketer success. Many of the most successful PMDs offer comprehensive Facebook marketing solutions, through creative partnerships with other PMDs or by offering multifaceted tools.

It looks like Facebook is satisfied with the changes it has made, which it complete in less than three weeks.

See also – Facebook builds a Preferred Marketing Developer Center app to better connect ad companies and vendors

Image credit: Glenn Pebley