Friday, April 18, 2008

Why Develop a Facebook Application?

The original reason to develop a Facebook application was to generate advertising revenue. Many college and even high school students have made some decent money doing this.

However, with the Ringside Social Application Server there are several new reasons for developing Facebook applications.

1. Run your Facebook application on other web sites and charge money. This let’s existing Facebook developers make money other than from Facebook advertising. Let others deploy your application easily – charging the web site to run your application, or charging the end users for that application. This includes charging for virtual goods.

2. A Facebook Application is better than a Facebook Ad. I’m not sure if that many advertising agencies or corporations who do on-line advertising realize this – but creating a Facebook application is free. And if it is a decent one, it can be seen and used by a LOT of people. It is also much more engaging than banner ads (and more targeted since they are self-selecting).

3. You can collect additional information. Of course the Facebook terms of service prevent you from copying data from Facebook – but the data you collect as part of your application is your data. Think about a simple social application that collects polling information – a marketer’s dream come true!

4. A Facebook Ad can draw people to your website. Provide engaging functionality on Facebook, and further functionality as part of your own website. This allows the Facebook social network to spread the news about your application, but draws new users to your own website.

5. You can deploy the same app on Facebook AND your website. This is one of the best features of the Ringside Social Application Server. Write once and deploy in multiple places! And all of the data you collect aggregates to you across all of those environments.

6. Reuse the Facebook User ID for login to your website. If your users spend significant time at Facebook, let them reuse that login and profile and social information. The Ringside Identity Mapping capability makes it easy. Or allow your existing users to map in their profile information from Facebook.

During the Beta version of Ringside, we have focused on Facebook. But we have begun working on similar capabilities with Open Social, and plan to have those available by the time we release at the end of June. Our goal is to bring down the walls between these social networks and enable the entire web to participate in this new wave of social networking.

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