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Facebook wooing mobile developers with FbStart

Facebook wooing mobile developers with FbStart

April 30, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

The folks at Facebook are angling to show their support for mobile developers via FbStart, a new app development accelerator program announced today during the company's annual f8 developer conference.

FbStart will launch in the next few weeks with two tracks: the Accelerate track and the Bootstrap track. The goal of the program is to support mobile app developers by providing select applicants with free Facebook ad credits and free access to tools and services from participating companies like Adobe, SurveyMonkey and more.

Any developer with an iOS or Android app that's been publicly available for at least 30 days is eligible to apply to either track of FbStart.

The program is in line with Facebook's ongoing attempts to become more deeply involved with the mobile market, which was a key focus of today's developer conference.

"Now were focused on building a stable mobile platform," said company founder Mark Zuckerberg during his keynote speech.

Earlier this month, the company reported that Facebook game revenue growth was faltering as Facebook users flocked to mobile, and the company appears to be attempting to drum up some goodwill with mobile content creators through its new program.

All FbStart submissions are reviewed by Facebook, with an eye towards bringing relatively new and notable apps into the Bootstrap track while accepting apps that have a demonstrated audience and growth potential into the Accelerate track.

Developers who make the cut will be admitted into Facebook's Start to Success program and receive roughly $5,000 worth of credit for tools and services if they're on the Bootstrap track, or roughly $30,000 worth of free tools if they're on the Accelerate track.

Full details on the rewards offered in each track are available on the FbStart website, but to sum up -- participants on both tracks receive credit for Facebook ads and general work-related services like Adobe Creative Cloud, but developers on the Accelerate track get more.

Facebook claims there are significantly fewer spots available on the Accelerate track compared to the Bootstrap track, and the criteria for admission are much more rigorous. Submissions will be accepted until the program fills up, which Facebook claims is likely to happen sometime in June. Developers selected to participate will have access to the program for a full year, until April 30, 2015.

Mobile game developers, take heart -- your app doesn't have to have any sort of Facebook integration in order to qualify for FbStart, nor is integrating your app with Facebook part of the program.

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