The Power of Facebook

Last year’s f8 keynote (May ’07) given by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced an extensible platform for reaching millions of users almost immediately. I think I’m a year too late on this one, but this Tuesday’s WSJ invigorated my enthusiasm. With 80,000,000 (yes, that’s 80 MILLION) active users interacting through 55,000 social sub-networks and 25,000 applications where 95% of Facebook users have installed at least one application, this is demand waiting for supply.  Talking about Facebook applications in an article Some Facebook Applications Thrive, Others Flop, it seems logic and common sense rule the day when it comes to successful adoption. Hopefully not news to anyone, your Facebook application has to do something useful to gain adoption. Facebook director of platform marketing, Ben Ling, says

“The Facebook platform is not a magic platform and you can plug in anything and it will be successful. It doesn’t make something that’s not useful useful.”

Still, what the Facebook platform brings to the table is something way beyond technology. Facebook brings an already connected group of trusted relationships together in a delivery model that can scale well beyond an infrastructure built from scratch to deliver to user base of similar size. All you have to do is piggy-back. It’s the flower-bee mutualism relationship.

For me, I setup a Facebook account a year ago or so. I would visit once a month, and then every couple of weeks, and then I was invited to play a game of Scrabulous (and here, cheats here). I’m on nearly every day now as I interact with my network in a way that’s useful to me. Apparently of the 25,000 applications that Facebook users have available to them, 74 of them have a market value of $1M or more.

Where is this going? If you have a good idea that is useful to people, your barrier to entry and your startup costs are potentially very low, and your upside is nearly unlimited. So put on your thinking caps, add the developer application, grab a client library (supports…hmmm…everything! asp.net, classic asp, cocoa, coldfusion, C++, C#, D, Emacs Lisp, Java, JavaScript, Lisp, Perl, PHP, Python, Rails, vb.net, and Windows Mobile), and get started. And if you’re so inclined, head out west for f8 ’08 on starting July 23rd.

Andy

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~ by Andy on June 13, 2008.

One Response to “The Power of Facebook”

  1. Social networking, who’da thought?! What a powerful, simple, (addicting!), and useful way to communicate! Between myspace, facebook, linkedin, and the blogosphere, there’s a platform to create and capture something of value! When you’re ready to connect and brainstorm, let me know! We’ll even let Stever in on it, ha. Great info!

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