The Increasingly Competitive World of Facebook

You spend weeks or months developing an application excited about the explosive growth that you are about to experience. You rush to launch your application and your user base stalls out at 500 users. What happened? You got your application published in a few blogs and are waiting for a massive influx of new users. Not even a Techcrunch article can get you 1,000 users. The infamously powerful Techcrunch effect doesn’t seem to exist for Facebook applications. So what do you do? That’s a great question! I’ve been spending some time exploring the most viral applications on Facebook. Often times I don’t write about them because I don’t think they are great applications. The tech illuminati seem to be expecting (myself included often times) a slow down in useless applications, while in reality one after the other, useless applications gain millions of users. If you want examples, take a look at Pimps!, Candy Store, WereWolves, Pirates and others. While these applications may not be horrendous (they had to be programmed to scale well), they aren’t exactly the best use of time. My personal rationale for all these lower end applications is that they have a dominant real estate position.

Essentially the largest portion of the land grab has ended and now the real estate moguls are leveraging their power to build other applications. The Candy Store application has gone from 7,000 to 33,000 users in the past 24 hours! This is not because the application adds a lot of value but because it was developed and promoted by those within the newly founded SocialMedia company. These guys were smart and bought up the fastest growing applications and are rapidly forming other partnership agreements with Facebook application developers to help leverage their reach. They can now charge upwards of $0.30 per user for your application. That’s some serious cash flow potential. At this point in the game, new application developers better be prepared to have a marketing budget to get their application to spread virally. Alternatively, you need an extremely powerful idea that millions of people will be quick to latch on to. In my opinion, Facebook is one of the cheapest forms of advertising out there but the cost has rapidly begun to increase. I’m starting to wonder if the world of Facebook applications are slowly becoming equal with the world of websites. What do you think?

Recommended articles