Facebook: Now A Developer and Advertiser Playground

Posted Nov 6, 2007

“People influence people.”
“Nothing influences a person more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.”

-Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook.

Facebook has now opened a new platform and its not for developers and its not called F8. Companies that want to advertise their brand and services can now create their own Facebook profiles. Advertisers will also be able to promote their services to the friends of those who consume their products. An example is that if John Smith books a ticket on Travelocity, the online travel company will display Smith’s picture on the homepage and maybe suggest that he got a good deal and so can you. John Smith would be able to control whether he wants Travelocity to promote that information, but you cannot control as much what your tolerance is for advertisements.

“Pushing your message out to people is no longer good enough,” stated Zuckerberg to roughly 200 advertising executives. “You have to get your message out to the conversations.”

Facebook users will also be able to embed code from outside web sites that revolve around their online consumer habits. Let’s say that I’m selling something on eBay, I can announce it on Facebook so that friends may find out what I’m selling and potentially bid on it too. Alerts can also be sent to friends when a user writes a review on restaurants, bands, books, DVDs, etc.

This advertising announcement was made not too long after the Microsoft $240 million investment and Google’s OpenSocial movement. The competition is heating up and I think Facebook is making the right moves against Google not including the social network in their plans for OpenSocial. No announcement has been made official about whether Facebook would join OpenSocial or not. But now that Facebook has a large and powerful growing user-base, an expanding advertising platform, a strong open source platform, is valuated at $15 billion, I would not be surprised if they did not conform to OpenSocial.

Between all the advertisers and developers running loose, appropriate homepage checks and balances should be made on Facebook. Getting friend updates would be more fun than seeing a barrage of advertisements. Invitations for developer applications is also getting slightly overwhelming so adding any kind of extra unsolicited content should be done subtly. Below is my invitations for developer applications. And I have no interest in any of them.

Mo Kakwan, Pulse 2.0 Silicon Valley correspondent’s list blew my list out of the water.  Below is a screen shot of his list and supposedly now its even bigger:

Ooooh!  An aquarium request!! Christmas has come early, friends!