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Facebook: 600 developers applied for funding

The first round of the company's FBFund grant contest has concluded, with 25 finalists to be announced on September 22.

Facebook is moving to the next step of its $10 million FBFund developer grant program, the company announced Friday in a blog post by employee Catherine Lee. The first round, announced early in August, is now closed, and 25 winning proposals will be announced on September 22; 5 final winners will be chosen out of all first-round winners who apply for the second round, and winners will wind up with grant money between $25,000 and $250,000.

"Our team has been busy reviewing each submission and we're amazed and excited by what we've seen," Lee wrote. "We're blown away by the remarkable amount of creativity, dedication, and hard work put into each application. The competition is intense!"

FBFund was first devised by Facebook last year, with cash provided by company investors Accel Partners and the Founders Fund, as a way to encourage developers to create high-quality applications for its platform. It hit an early snag, however, when Facebook abruptly voided existing applicants and asked that they re-apply while agreeing to a new set of fine print. FBFund's initial round gave away 10 developer grants, which were announced at the company's F8 conference in July. But those applications--which include wedding planner ConnectedWeddings, game creator HotBerry, and carpool organizer Zimride--were not selected in a contest process.

Several applicants for this year's round of FBFund have made their pitches available on the Web: e-commerce gifting service Real Gifts, contacts management system Socialfly, and greeting card creator GroupCard.