Affiliate marketers will try to find inventory any way they can, but those trying to find leads through Facebook applications are not likely to find much long term success.
While Facebook has allowed developers to monetize their application canvas pages however they like, the company has been very protective of the profile page and viral communication channels. Many application developers have successfully sold “sponsored gifts,” but placing ads that link directly to affiliate landing pages in notifications or wall messages has never been treated as a generally acceptable practice.
However, that’s not stopping some people from trying. Just today, the myTV video sharing app sent an announcement linking to this sponsored links page for plasma TV’s on BizRate (see above).
Ultimately, Facebook has invested significant time and human resources to create a low-spam environment – a massive challenge for a service operating at this scale – and has too much at stake. Facebook’s combination of automated and manual detection systems are likely to prevent this kind of affiliate marketing from ever becoming very widespread.