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Who knows what positions each took behind closed doors, but do you think they aren't going into a negotiation all on the same page? Do you think they would allow someone in negotiations to take a position opposite to the company line?

Also, relations does not mean advocate. He has relations with the customer, he is not obliged to advocate their views. Especially not when it goes against FBs interests.

OP is equating "“platform developer relations” " with "ombudsmen" apparently.

Unfortunately this is a business. Not a university, non-profit or a government entity.

It's not that uncommon for for-profit businesses to have someone in an ombudsman role, responsible for advocating on behalf of the (official) customer. It's most widespread in news companies, where most newspapers, news magazines, and TV stations have a role specifically designated to be the readers'/viewers' advocate. Of course, it's ultimately self-interested, but it's the kind of self-interest that involves convincing your customers that your organizational structure is taking them seriously.

As an example from tech, I believe HN's 'jf' used to be a startup-relations person for Microsoft, whose job really did involve trying to advocate for their needs within Microsoft, reporting out of the product groups' normal management hierarchy to make sure he was giving them third-party input.

"It's not that uncommon for for-profit businesses to have someone in an ombudsman role"

I definitely understand your point but I don't think it is correct to use the phrase "not that uncommon" with respect to "for-profit businesses" without defining what types of businesses you are referring to.

The overwhelming majority (anecdotal of course) of for-profit businesses do not have anything like an ombudsmen. I would agree that with respect to newspapers that statement would be correct from what I've seen and probably universities.

I wouldn't want to speculate on the percentages here, but if we believe the numbers as far as the amount of businesses of all sizes that are out there, I think it's safe to say that the majority don't have an ombudsmen. So I would say it is uncommon.

"Developer relations" normally implies a role intended to encourage developers to use your platform. If they're just going to parrot the company line, then there's not much point in them existing, is there?

>>"Developer relations" normally implies a role intended to encourage developers to use your platform.

no, thats marketing.

Dev relations works with you once you are already using the platform. Don't get their intentions confused. They may be on your side with bug fixes and feature requests, but if you try to do something that goes against their company, why the hell would they be on your side?

It's a facet of marketing, sure - but you're marketing your platform/API/library/company to developers, not the general public. It doesn't really matter whether they're currently using your system, since they might be in the near future.

The implication is that by having a large ecosystem with lots of developers, the company will benefit, but in this case, FB appears to have shot themselves in the foot.

Its not marketing. Dev Relations is a liaison to developers. They will champion your cause when it is mutually beneficial. But they don't work for you and are not obliged to stick up for you.

All the liaising in the world is not going to help you when all the developers who use your platform think that you're an asshole, or you're too busy managing your ad portfolio to pay attention to them.

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