Facebook Apps Getting Stuck in Directory Approval Process

An application developer contacted us late last week to inform us of a common problem he’s seen with the Facebook platform since October 29th wherein some developers’ applications are getting perpetually stuck in the directory approval process.

It appears two things have been happening to prevent applications from appearing in the directory: they are approved but then soon revert back to “pending” status, or they are simply never approved. According to a ticket (#589) created in Facebook’s bug tracking system, at least a couple dozen developers have been experiencing this problem. Many more probably have been waiting for their applications to be approved but have concluded that the process just takes an inordinate amount of time.

If you are a developer who has been waiting forever to see your application listed in the directory, or have seen your application disappear from the directory, then you may want to point your experience out to Facebook. The company appears to have been very good at responding to developers’ concerns on a case-by-case basis.

A couple months ago I wrote about how Facebook applications were (obviously) pointless if they didn’t work. While I suggested that scalability issues were at fault for broken apps, many responded in the comments by suggesting that technical problems with the Facebook platform were actually at fault for many, if not most, of the error screens I was seeing at the time. This recent issue with directory approval indicates that Facebook is still working to make its platform simply work for developers. Developers may or may not still be seeing their applications broken by the platform, but if they can’t get them listed in the directory, that is even worse.

If you have developed for the Facebook platform, please share your overall experience in the comments so that others who are thinking about developing for Facebook know what to expect. I have an inquiry into Facebook about this current bug and will publish any information I receive back from as an update to this post.

Thanks Dani for the tip.