It's Facebook Day! Say Hello To The Three Tier App System

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Youth and Experience

Update: Our live notes from Mark Zuckerberg’s Keynote are here.

Today is definitely Facebook day as they hold their second annual F8 developers conference in San Francisco. Last year they released their developer platform, which led competitors to hurriedly release their own competing offerings. What’s in store for tomorrow? We’ve made our predictions, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage at 1:30 to make his keynote, and workshops will follow all day after that. The full schedule is here.

Some of the news is breaking early. For example, we will almost certainly see the Facebook payments platform launch in some form, for example – Facebook desperately wants to find a way to help application developers make money beyond advertising, and the iPhone App Store has shown that people are willing to pay for quality applications.

Even more certain is the launch of Facebook Connect, which will allow third party services to authenticate Facebook users and merge profile data into their offerings. Digg will be one of their launch partners, and will show off the new product on stage, say our sources. However, neither CEO Jay Adelson or Founder Kevin Rose will attend the event.

We’ve also heard from sources that Facebook will announce a tiering system for applications, confirming our previous post in March. Five to ten top tier apps, which have proven themselves trustworthy and which create as good or better a user experience as what Facebook is able to create itself, will be named in the near future. iLike (music) and Causes (charity) will be announced tomorrow, and more will come soon. We heard that Flixster (movies) was on the short list but was bumped at the last minute – perhaps due to their MySpace partnership announced yesterday.

Other apps will be grouped into a middle tier, where most of them will fall, and a bottom “unwashed masses” tier for untrustworthy or spammy apps that have little user value. Each tier will have different rules for engaging with users, particularly around invites, messaging and entry into the news feed.

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