An App That Interferes With Facebook’s Revenue: Free Gifts

Facebook LogoShortly after the Facebook Applications feature was released, developers went on a programming frenzy. Millions of users began adding the applications and this gave the ability for companies to mooch of off Facebook’s traffic. This is certainly good for the developers, but some of the applications are quite possibly interfering directly from Facebook’s own revenue sources.

Why do I say this? Free Gifts[1]. Free Gifts was an application created by Zachary Allia, a Northeastern University Class of 2007 student. Currently, Facebook sells icons (gifts) for $1 / piece. But with this new application created by Allia, I definitely do not see a need to buy one from Facebook anymore:
Facebook Free Gifts Screen Shot
This type of application is one to attract attention since it basically prevents Facebook from making money. While this application seems unethical, it really puts how much power Facebook is giving to developers into perspective. Another way that Facebook makes money is buy selling contextual ads based on school location. What if someone develops a similar application and competes with that Facebook revenue source directly?

MySpace removed Photobucket previously because Photobucket widgets on MySpace had advertisements. Plus there wasn’t a revenue-sharing agreement made between MySpace and Photobucket.

Do you think Facebook should limit what applications are allowed? Comment away.

[1] Facebook Free Gifts application

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

An App That Interferes With Facebook’s Revenue: Free Gifts Comments

  1. Mo says:

    When I first saw this I also thought about the implications of stealing revenue from Facebook. In the case of the gift application I don’t think that it’s a real issue. For any two people to be able to trade gifts they must add the application. Facebook already has their gift application in place and in the minds of their user base. I am not sure of the revenue that they are losing from their gifts but I bet it’s considerable enough to warrant action on removing the freelance gifts application.

    What worries me more is the censorship going on facebook like the remove of polls questioning “Is facebook better then myspace”

  2. Zach Allia says:

    Some info from the source… Facebook is very aware of Free Gifts, but I am pretty sure they won’t remove it unless I violate the TOS in some manner. They are monitoring closely.. I am sure of it.


  3. Melissa Davies says:

    I think the gifting is great

  4. Romeo says:

    hi nice post, i enjoyed it

  5. moh says:

    so wot if i have to buy a gift id buy a round of drinks for my mates its jus a dollar and a laff

  6. Me says:

    I don’t think its a problem, as long as the apps don’t actually make money without facebook. Something like ‘free gifts’ wont make the headlines when you start facebook up, won’t be as real as those other gifts, and is not causing significant problems.

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