Facebook's controversial programme to charge developers in order to review their applications has made its debut.
Announced about six months ago, the Facebook Application Verification Program has been criticised by some who fear it will unfairly benefit developers who have the money to pay the annual review fee.
Facebook has responded to the criticism by saying the program is optional, and that its goal is to help developers who want to stress their applications are trustworthy and to help Facebook members who need extra reassurance before installing an application.
The program is launching with an initial batch of 120 verified applications. Benefits for these applications include a badge highlighting their special status, priority ranking in the application directory and the right to send out more notifications to end users. Developers also get credits and discounts for advertising on the site.
Facebook charges US$375 (NZ$573) to review each application. If an application earns the verification badge, the certification is good for 12 months, after which developers must pay another $375 for their application to be reviewed again.