The Facebook chat panel at the Web 2.0 Summit this morning was a time to talk about the Facebook platform and how it's changed the development and monetization of Web services. Several of the panel speakers have immensely popular apps on Facebook, and widgets for MySpace including Slide, RockYou, and iLike.
The two big question pitched to the devs were how Facebook has changed what they've done internally and what's on the horizon. "We looked at the Facebook platform and thought this could be the greatest paradigm in technology since the Internet itself," said Ali Partovi, the CEO of iLike. Partovi and company are one of the real success stories of the Facebook platform, and are currently up to over 700,000 daily active users with their iLike music-sharing application. Partovi also noted that when they launched their app the first weekend of the Facebook apps platform launch, the company had to rent a truck trailer full of servers to handle the traffic.
Partovi also said that iLike is currently pooling close to 100 percent of its resources on the Facebook app, and is actually launching new features first on the Facebook platform before it happens on iLike.com. Other developers on the panel said that their development focus for Facebook apps fell somewhere between 80 percent and 90 percent. Slide was the only one of the bunch that noted it's only spending 10 percent of the time working on Facebook in lieu of working on offerings for other social networking services like Bebo, MySpace, etc.
Also mentioned was the article by Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital earlier this month that lambasted the Facebook app platform as being aimed at "toddlers." Lance Tokuda CEO and co-founder of RockYou said, "She's not a teenage girl...we're targeting the MySpace market...one day I'm going to build something just for her." A statement that eventually led to a chat about some of the more inane apps on the Facebook platform, and how involved users are wiling to let themselves get, both with time and money. One app in particular even lets people spend $10 of virtual currency to throw virtual feces at one of their Facebook friends (or enemies). ILike's Partovi links the "infancy" of these apps because of the age of the platform, and what developers have had the time to build. He also noted that apps for Windows weren't that great either when the operating system first launched.
So what has made this platform so successful?… Read more