Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a session with Ro Choy of RockYou. Ro was speaking in front of a room filled with people interested in launching applications on the Facebook platform. During the session, Ro proceeded to explain one of the tactics that he encouraged using to build a larger user base for your application. Ultimately, the strategy was notification spam. Once a user installs the application, you run a script that runs over the course of a number of days to systematically send notifications to all of their friends.
Apparently, there is a seven to ten day window where you can leverage this strategy. After a certain point though, your application will be marked as spam and you can no longer use these aggressive tactics. The lesson? If an opportunity exists on Facebook that allows you to get a much larger base of users, exploit it no matter how annoying it may be. Is this playing dirty? I think so but that’s up for you to decide. The bottom line is that if the competition is doing it, you are going to be forced to do the same thing.
The alternative is to go purchase traffic from those that are playing dirty. Will you (or would you) use this tactic when you launch your own application?