The Los Angeles Times has a major story this morning on the Facebook platform for application development. Here’s an excerpt:
Software developers have built more than 3,000 programs to run on the social networking site in the last three months. The uses range from the practical, such as buying music or scouting vacation spots, to the quirky, including sending virtual gifts or biting your friends to turn them into zombies.
About 80% of Facebook’s 40 million users have added at least one feature to their profiles. The most successful applications claim millions of users.
“Facebook is God’s gift to developers,” said Lee Lorenzen, founder of Altura Ventures, a Monterey, Calif., investment firm that started betting exclusively on companies creating Facebook programs in July. “Never has the path from a good idea to millions of users been shorter.”
The Facebook free-for-all began in May, when the Palo Alto company invited hundreds of software developers to build their own features for the social-networking site and pocket the proceeds. The new strategy triggered a digital land rush, with 80,000 developers signing up.
They all wanted a shot at the desirably youthful demographic of Facebook users, many of whom spend hours a day on the site.
Now entrepreneurs looking to start companies or expand existing ones are building businesses on Facebook the way they used to build businesses on the Web, but they are doing it faster and cheaper — and with a built-in audience that provides instant feedback.
Read the entire article here.
I don’t know whether Facebook is really “God’s gift to developers,” but I did write yesterday about how it might be a gift for churches.