Facebook App Overload: You've Been Poked
The opening of Facebook's code to allow third-party applications (aka "widgets") has led to a feeding frenzy amongst web developers, with an interactive presence on the rapidly-expanding social networking site becoming a sort of pedigree amongst Web 2.0 companies. Hey, NowPublic has one, too. This is because we're cool.
On one hand, users may grow weary, or, even worse, indifferent towards this glut of gadgets. On the other hand, such scalability is what the evolving site (and the web in general) is all about. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg remains publicly enthusiastic about the tinkering going on with his site, the question remains as to whether or not users will permanently embrace these extra features, and what direction Facebook will take as a result. (tangential link here)
Now that third-party companies and developers can create custom applications for Facebook members to add to their profiles, building "Facebook apps" has become a top priority for many Web companies--particularly smaller ones looking to make it big by capitalizing on Facebook's large and loyal user base.
"It's an amazing platform," said Nathan Freitas, creator of Cruxy, a set of tools that help musicians and filmmakers share and sell their digital content. "It's fantastic. They really thought of so many things, and it's a pleasure to develop for, honestly."
Less than a month after its debut, however, Facebook Platform may be closing in on a saturation point. Dave Morin, Facebook's director of platform, told the Developer Meetup audience via videoconference that more than 40,000 developers have requested to be part of the project, around 1,500 applications have been produced so far, and some of the most popular went from zero to 850,000 users in three days. "This is unprecedented in the history of the Internet," Morin said to the developers.
"I definitely think that people are initially going to run into 'app fatigue,'" said Amit Gupta, who hosted the developer event on Wednesday night. Gupta has created a Facebook Platform application for his photography tips newsletter, Photojojo. "I think I've started to see that already with some of the people in my circle," he added.