FaceBook’s Application Platform

On May 24th Facebook launched it’s developer platform allowing deep integration into it’s website and therefore the world of it’s online community. As you can see from this chart Facebook growth makes the platform hugely appealing to lots of people. It’s a very interesting move and the platform provides developer’s with rich data about it’s users and their friends for use within Facebook applications. Dare Obasanjo has a great post regarding why he thinks Facebook is bigger than blogging.

Having written my first Facebook application this past week I can certainly see a lot of potential. As a blogger I get to interact with my audience (you) via comments and email though for the most part it’s largely a one way conversation where I don’t know much about who’s reading other than they apparently have related interests. Not to mention the fact that the bulk of comments are posted by a relatively few number of people.

One thing I find interesting is that my seemingly off-topic posts have yielded the best feedback I’ve gotten via comments which is one reason I’ve strayed off topic a bit more (this post included). For example, take a look at all the great advice about buying a bike or tools used for file synchronization or podcasts that have been recommended. What if I knew more about my readers and likewise them more about me? I can imagine there being far more information sharing and ideas exchanged simply because of the nature of social networking.

Now, I’m not planning on giving up my blog for a FaceBook profile just yet but this is certainly a platform to watch. I can imagine similar things being done in numerous other areas. Heck, I’ve only been on FaceBook a little over a week.

What about you, are you on FaceBook?

[Updated: June 9, 2007] Fix graphic

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3 thoughts on “FaceBook’s Application Platform

  1. "What about you, are you on FaceBook?"

    No, as long as I hear the words "social networking" together I steer away immediately. One of the reason is I do not believe any algorithm is able to categorize people and look for what’s interesting for them (I really like friends that have nothing in common with me – we learn a lot from each other), moreover I think these site are enormous honeypots to catch people and have them deliver as much data as possibile for commercial profiling, again, I decide what to buy and many marketers would be really surprised how their "profiling" would fail miserably.

  2. I find it interesting that "Tired user" takes a pure commercial/marketing approach to social networks. I see this perception out there a lot, usually by people that don’t quite "get" social networks. They view them as just another marketing tool or somehow think that there is an over-arching algorithm shuffling people towards and away from each other when in fact the "algorithm" is the people, not code. Take MySpace for example and I know quite a few people that have discovered new friends, hangouts, bands, etc. just by wandering MySpace profiles of people in their area.

    Now personally I can’t stand MySpace, mostly because it runs slow, has a warped idea of customization, rarely works exactly right and looks hideous, but then again that’s just me 🙂

    As far as Facebook I haven’t really spent much time with it because you either have to spend a lot of time cultivating new relationships or you have to have an existing base of readers, such as those that probably only read your blog because you work on their favorite programming IDE 🙂 Social networks work great as long as you have an information hungry pool of readers that are willing to invest the energy in reading your new posts. The system starts to fail though when people become more insular and post a call for information in their blog/profile yet rarely if ever actually comment/post on others, then it’s like people in little rooms all talking to themselves.

  3. Tired User,
    I sort of think I could have predicted that about you. 🙂

    Shaw,
    I agree with "the algorithm is the people". That makes a lot of sense. So is that last sentence directed at me?

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