If getting your app approved by Facebook is your new Everest, you’re not alone. We’re currently going through the process ourselves after deciding to make the leap into the mobile app world. That comes only after seven years of running a service business that helps large, multi-location organizations manage their social media and online reputations.
With our app’s initial beta version up and running, we’ve learned a few things to help you muscle your way through the approval process. The good news is that many of Facebook’s widely reported fundamental changes the last two years work in the developer's favor.
Here are five tricks and best practices to consider if you want Facebook to "like" you:
1. Join the dev groups before any development begins.
Facebook’s private-developer community group is full of people having the same problems as you. So, learn the solutions and avoid them. As a bonus, read Facebook’s policies and guidelines, so you know you’re building something the company will have a good chance of liking.
Tip: Apply for FbStart. FbStart, which launched in 2014, helps companies build, grow and monetize their apps, through access to products and services through Facebook and partner companies such as Hootsuite and MailChimp. We’re members and have already received about $60,000 worth of invaluable resources such as app-store optimization and user research through the accelerator program. Facebook individualizes the track each company follows, from early-stage startups and mobile games to apps for social good.
2. Exceed the defined requirements.
If Facebook says you need to spend $250 in ads, make sure you spend more than that. A few dollars extra could save you weeks of time. We learned that the hard way by losing almost a month. It’s like that scene in Office Space where Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) is berated for wearing 15 pieces of flair: You've gotta go beyond the bare minimum.
3. Find a developer that’s done this before.
If at all possible, hire a developer (even if it’s on contract) to help you navigate the process of getting your app approved.
4. Don’t rely on Facebook to do your work.
Before sending your app to Facebook, make sure it is bug free, and that you are not building technology that supports any form of spam.
5. Plan for delays.
Make sure you have plenty of time in your road map to work through any issues that might arise during the process.
When you get frustrated, remember that the more successful your app, the better Facebook looks. Facebook is especially rooting for you to succeed if that success is tied to your technology. So, don’t give up. And do keep building transformative mobile experiences. Then we all look good.