As predicted, the ChatToText application was shut down after violating the terms of service for blatently incentivizing users to invite their friends. The application attracted just under 20,000 users before it was shut down and now many are wondering what’s going to happen with the $6 that each user paid to join the service? My suggestion for the founders is to take the money and run since a $120k payout on a Facebook application is pretty damn good.
The developers took the time to build a fairly robust product though so my guess is that they are going to try to take another stab at launching the application. Fortunately for them they get to start with $20,000 users. Will people really pay to use the application now that they can’t make money off of it anymore? I doubt it but I’m sure there will be a lot of unhappy people that had their money taken from them.
Were these developers successful? Most definitely! While the company clearly violated the terms of service and was eventually shut down, they generated a lot of revenue. Large applications that are successful at temporarily violating the platform terms of service have actually become one of the biggest problems plaguing the Facebook platform. I’ll save that discussion for another post though.
For the time being ChatToText is offline and it will probably take a couple days at a minimum before it comes back online. At the minimum, the company has generated a ton of buzz about their application. There’s also a chance that the developers walked away with a pretty nice payday. If every user paid $6 then the company generated around $120,000.
Did you use the application? Are you waiting to get your money back?