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Facebook Woos More Mobile Start-Up Developers with Helping-Hand Program

Facebook yesterday announced it was expanding its FbStart program to give a helping hand to more mobile start-up developers.

The program was unveiled at the company's April 30 f8 developer conference, offering free tools and services to those in attendance. Yesterday, the company invited all mobile developers to apply -- if they've had existing iOS or Android apps in the Apple or Google Play stores for at least 30 days. The apps need not be integrated with the Facebook platform.

If selected for the program, developers will get help from Facebook and a bevy of partners for app testing, recruiting, customer care, videoconferencing, document management and more.

The limited-seating program has two tracks: Booststrap, which offers up to $5,000 worth of tools and services for brand-new start-ups; and Accelerate, which offers up to $30,000 for developers trying to grow more established apps that show promise. There are fewer open slots for the Accelerate program, which features more rigorous qualification requirements.

"FbStart is an extension of Facebook Platform's mission to help developers build, grow and monetize their apps," the company said in a statement. "By providing mobile app developers with the essential services they need to get their businesses up and running -- or to take them to the next stages of growth -- Facebook hopes to help expand the overall app ecosystem."

Facebook listed the following partners and the services they provide:

  • Adobe -- creative services
  • Appurify -- mobile app testing
  • Asana -- project management
  • Blue Jeans -- cloud-based video collaboration service
  • Desk.com -- customer support
  • HootSuite -- social media monitoring
  • MailChimp -- e-mail marketing
  • Proto.io -- mobile app prototyping
  • Quip -- mobile productivity tools
  • SurveyMonkey -- online survey platform
  • Transifex -- localization
  • UserTesting -- usability testing
  • Workable -- recruitment

Selected developers also receive credits for Facebook ads and services from newly acquired Parse, which provides scalable, cloud-hosted, cross-platform development tools and services.

The social media giant didn't list the number of available slots, but said it expects the program to fill up by the end of next month, so interested developers should apply soon. Facebook will judge applications based on factors such as size, growth, quality, engagement and funding and will get back to applicants within 14 days of submission.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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