I commented on Monday that the Facebook application directory was suffering major delays and suggested a new hire. Well it looks like Facebook has finally heeded my advice and is rapidly adding applications to the directory. Just today it looks like they have approved over 200 applications to be listed. Now comes the real time drainer: browsing through the applications to find which ones are good. Of the two hundred applications added today, I have found only a few that are worth playing around with. It looks as though many of the applications are not worth adding. I have even added a few that turn out to be non-functional. Let me tell you how disappointing that is. I can only imagine the frustration of a general user who goes to add an application only to find out that it doesn’t work. The bottom line is that the application directory is going to need to rapidly adjust to allow users to browse applications more effectively.
So lets say you want to launch an application of your own. What is the best strategy? First, create a useful application. There is no point in using an application that doesn’t serve a purpose. Trust me I have seen many useless applications. Although some may argue that many of the popular applications are practically useless, but that is another conversation for a different time. Second, have a seeding strategy. Many of these applications only have 20 users. Any application that has below 100 users is probably not worth checking out. As thousands of applications start rolling out (my guess is there will be close to 100,000 if not more by the end of the year), there will be a need to filter these applications. While a few may spend the time browsing the directory, most will simply add interesting applications that their friends have added. This is the viral aspect of Facebook application deployment. Just like any good pr/marketing campaign, your application will need a proper seeding strategy. If you only have a couple friends, then good luck getting your application off the ground. The only way that people with not many friends will effectively launch an application is if their’s is phenomenal. Even then they will face a challenge unless they can get the application to the right users. I have a funny feeling that network nodes (people that are the center of large social groups) will quickly become a valuable asset on Facebook.