Early Facebook App Causes Is Being Reborn As A Polished Web Site For Good
Causes launched with the Facebook Platform back in 2007 as a way to help friends more easily campaign for the social causes of their choice. The app benefited from getting in early on the platform, being the only one in its category (other developers were building poking apps or games at the time), and from having a tight relationship with Facebook via cofounder Sean Parker.
The product, though, has lost some momentum over the years ? at least until a multi-part revamp that the company is in the middle of pushing through. Most strikingly, the Facebook canvas app no longer exists. Instead, as of this past fall, everything is now on Causes.com.
But, consider this a preview of sorts. The company is planning to roll out major new features in the coming months, with a full launch planned for mid-March.
?When [Facebook's] platform launched in 2007, we made a bet that for Causes to get above the sheep-throwing and zombie-killing noise, we needed to look like an app that was made by Facebook, as natural to use as their Photos or Events apps,? product vice president Chris Chan tells me. ?This was the right call then.?
Even so, he explains, the product got too focused on viral growth and not enough on overall quality. ?As the years have progressed the web has gotten a lot more social, and it makes more sense to have our own brand and site. We can still be ?on? Facebook in the sense that we plug into News Feed and fan pages, but having our own brand gives us full, top to bottom control over the product experience, something that we think is critical for building the best tool possible for organizers to create campaigns for social change.?
The site today still relies on Facebook as much as ever, but as an Open Graph app developer (as it announced last week) If you?re signed in to Facebook, you can sign in to Causes with the click of a button, and easily do things like invite all of your Facebook friends, or just the ones who have installed Causes at some point in the past. And because it