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This article was published on October 26, 2012

Facebook sets developer limits on notifications for inactive users and high volume senders

Facebook sets developer limits on notifications for inactive users and high volume senders

After releasing its Notifications API in beta two months ago, Facebook is now reporting the results of its test and has decided to introduce the following new rules for developers, effective November 9th: Developers will only be able to notify users that are actually using their apps (within the past 28 days), and apps that send a high volume of notifications must maintain a 17% click-to-impression ratio. In other words, no spamming — something Facebook warned about when the product first launched.

On the positive side, this API brings unprecedented potential for apps and services to connect directly with users. Simultaneously, it also opens up the door for constant abuse, as the social giant’s notification system is already flooded with internal activity. Without control over this system, Facebook notifications will be rendered completely useless.

Here’s more details on the new rules, from Facebook (bold = TNW):

1. No sending notifications to inactive users. Apps should only send notifications to users who have visited their app in the last 28 days. Data shows that user engagement drops sharply after this time and raises the risk your app will be flagged as spam.

2. High volume senders must maintain a minimum click-to-impression ratio. Apps sending a high volume of notifications must maintain a minimum 17% click-to-impression (CTI) ratio on notifications. Our data shows that apps with a CTI of 17% or higher will keep users coming back for a longer period of time. If your app dips below this threshold on a weekly basis, we may block access to notifications for your app.

Facebook explains that it is seeing remarkably high click through rates for some apps, including “KIXEYE’s War Commander and’s Candy Crush Saga” as well as “apps like TripAdvisor.” The odds are, this isn’t currently the case for many apps and abuse has likely already occurred in order for these rules to become a necessity.

If you’re a developer interested in the new rules, head here for more details and check out the Notifications API documentation.

Image credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images