Facebook applications are popular, and we’re confident that 9 out of 10 readers reading this would be regularly using at least some of the thousands of applications offered by the social networking giant. Facebook applications are usually engaging software that users can interact with, and are virally spread through the immense social network that Facebook has.
The name given to a Facebook application have four parameters:
• The level of individual interactivity.
• The level of utility.
• The level of fun.
• The level of social or group interaction.
Apps are also powerful marketing tools for online promotions of brands, products, services, digital media, ecommerce and more, and pioneers the world over are using this emerging marketing platform to develop apps custom-suited to their brand and product. The success rate of these apps depends on the four parameters mentioned above.
Some examples of apps being used or developed by companies include:
• BlueNile.com created a “Blue Nile Wish List” app. The app informs friends of the user whenever he/she adds jewellery from BlueNile.com on his/her wish list on the website.
• Buy.com created the “Garage Sale” app, which lets Facebook users (and there are over 400 million of them) directly purchase used goods on sale at the website from the app without having to leave the page.
• A popular Zombies app, where users bite friends, is used to advertise upcoming horror movies.
Creating Facebook applications isn’t expensive, and is hosted on the social networking site for free. Facebook provides coding parameters to convert any existing software into an app for the website, and many third-party applications (like Clearspring.com) do the same.
However, if you don’t have a technical background, and would like custom and high-end elements included in your app, or just generally want to develop a new app based on a new (and preferably viral) concept, it is strongly advised to outsource services to a good programmer who has a good track record of previously developed apps.