I have created a mini question and answer Web site inside Facebook. After 8 or so years thinking about Q&A with points and money incentives – we decided to go with a simple points and voting system for this one. Facebook Answers is a fun app, with lots of interesting questions – and I’ve learned a ton about what it takes to build a Facebook app that spreads.
About 5 weeks ago, Facebook opened up their Web site to allow external developers to build mini-Web sites (“Apps”) right inside Facebook. It has been accompanied by some fantastic success stories about new Facebook apps rocketing to millions of users within a few weeks. Facebook’s goal is to become a “social operating system” – a layer of software that tracks your friends – on top of which guys like me can build applications.
This advancement has really turned my world upside down. For years, I’ve been creating social apps (incompletely catalogued on this blog) but generally always fail to market and advertise them sufficiently. The Facebook advancement makes that significantly easier – apps are discoverable via your network of friends with almost no registration required.
Because of what this means for developers like myself, I think Facebook has a very promising future. It certainly has become “the place to be” for me. At the very least, it will force other sites to follow suit.