Launch Conference 2011 Day One: Top Facebook Integrations

Today and tomorrow, 40 companies are introducing new or revamped products at San Francisco’s Launch conference. Here, we’ll review the products with significant Facebook integrations, both good and bad, and how the companies fit into the Facebook development ecosystem.

Two standouts were Jibe that turns a user’s Facebook friends into references that can move their job application to the top of the stack, and Chute that lets users quickly backup or share multiple photos from their mobile device.

Jibe – Mobile Job Applications with Social References

Jibe is a job search and application platform that lets users append references of their Facebook and LinkedIn connections who are associated with the job to their resumes. For instance, users could attach links to profiles of friends who currently work at the employer or who work in the same space.

Employers pay Jibe to bring them high quality applicants, and users can pay for credits that allow them to apply to jobs more frequently instead of earning credits by sharing jobs or the site with friends.

At Launch, Jibe announced the released of a mobile-optimized site that allows users to complete the entire search and application from their mobile device, as well as call contacts they’re including as references.

Though the service has a deep Facebook integration, including registration, login, and the ability to pull information like education and work history, none of a user’s other Facebook data is shared with potential employers. Only links to the profiles of the selected references are included with the resume.

Users in more prestigious industries may want to take more care with their job applications and as such wouldn’t want to use a mobile interface. However, there is a market for users who want to quickly apply to lots of jobs, but still leverage their social network. Jibe will be competing with services including BranchOut, Pursuit, and Work For Us that concentrate on using social to power job discovery, rather than to increase the liklihood that an application will be noticed.

Disconnect – Web Browsing Privacy Protection

Disconnect is a Chrome, RockMelt and Safari browser extension the blocks websites from tracking your habits or using your personal information from Facebook, Google, and other services. Facebook’s social plugins, ads by OpenX, and other panels that require user data appear as opaque blue boxes unless a user hovers over them to see the publisher and clicks to reveal the content.

The product appeals to both less savvy users who are scared about data leaks they don’t understand, as well as very savvy users who know exactly what data they want kept private. Disconnect’s founder, former Google engineer Brian Kennish, says the company could make money by layering premium services over the free core product.

Disconnect accomplishes its task elegantly, allowing users to easily tell what data the sites they visit are requesting, and opt in or out of providing that data. There are tools such as ReclaimPrivacy to help users protect their privacy within Facebook, but fewer that concentrate on how Facebook data is used by third-party websites. The challenge for Disconnect will be acquiring enough users who are willing to pay.

Appconomy Group{in} – Cross-Social Platform Groups for Mobile

Appconomy’s Group{in} is a mobile app that aggregates content from Facebook Groups, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, phone, and SMS into a mobile app to reduce friction from switching between these mediums.

Users can read and publish updates from and to these mediums, private message group members, and receive notifications about new content. For businesses, Group{in} can also hook into CRM systems to bring customers into groups.

CEO and co-founder Brian Magierski said the service will help people who have friends who aren’t on Facebook, but the conference’s judges explained that this is a rapidly shrinking demographic. It also lacks several features available on the networks it aggregates from. There’s a lot of competition in the groups space, and by not focusing squarely on one use case and doing that best there’ll be no core audience with which to gain traction.

Chute – Mobile Photo Backup and Sharing

Chute is a mobile app that allows users to easily backup and share photos from their mobile device. It protects users from losing their media if their device is broken, lost, or stolen, and removes the friction associated with uploading mobile photos to one’s computer. Photos can be viewed on the Chute mobile app, website, or desktop app as well social sites and services including Facebook, Twitter, and Picasa.

Chute also provides an API so other applications can integrate content uploaded to Chute. Monetization possibilities include charging users for storage space.

As content creation and sharing applications like Instagram proliferate, users need a better way to protect the photos they’re taking. Many users end up with hundreds of photos on their mobile devices because they’re not backed up, slowing down their devices. Chute allows users to save and remove these photos in order to get to “photo-zero”, similar to the concept of inbox-zero or having no unorganized emails.

For Facebook users, the ability to drag to select multiple photos and share them with friends is a big improvement over Facebook’s native apps that only allow users to share one photo at a time. With clear value for users and the fact that it complements the rapidly growing mobile content creation app space, Chute has a lot of potential.