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

Posted Jun 12, 2007

Shortly 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:

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