Is there money to be made in Facebook?
Is there money to be made in Facebook? According to Adonomics, the answer is yes, particularly for developers that tap into the fan bases of entertainment properties.
Adonomics is an online source of Facebook analytics, enabling visitors to track the growth, activity, and valuation of companies that develop applications for Facebook – as well as valuation of individual applications.
In its latest blog entry, Building the Social Suite of Category Killer Apps for Facebook, Adonomics identified the top ten trends in Facebook application use – and listed fan applications as the fifth-largest category.
But, to be a fan is to be part of a community – fandom is a shared, and deep, experience. Therefore, there is plenty of cross-over potential between fan applications and other popular app categories:
Communicating with friends (#1)
Casual gaming (#8)
Friend comparisons (#9)
One of the most impressive apps I’ve come across, “My Heroes Ability”, incorporates casual gaming and fandom. Based on the TV show “Heroes”, fans can select one of 12 superhero abilities, and enter into superhero battles with friends. The valuation for “My Heroes Ability” (Adonomics analyzes each app and assigns it a valuation) –$690K.
Watercooler Inc. develops apps for a number of popular television shows, which allow fans to post pictures, quotes and videos to their profile pages, as well as chat with other fans. The developer’s most popular property app – for Grey’s Anatomy – is valued at $217K, while their Degrassi app is valued at $11.5K.
As Adonomics points out, the Fans category of apps is full of tiny, long-tail apps but, bound together, they become very interested to the exact same advertisers that are interested in the demographics of a particular TV audience. Thanks to its stable of easily replicated apps, Watercooler Inc. is valued at a cool $19M.
From profitable and mainstream, to delightfully quirky and niche, here are some of my favourite Facebook apps:
- iLike – the app for this social music discovery site allows users to add music files to their profile page, and earn free MP3s
- The Sausage on a Fork gift – For some reason, my friends an I find this gift particularly amusing; one friend even ponied up the $1 price tag to send it to herself
- Entourage quotables – Whether you watch the show or not, there are many great quotes and inside jokes for entertainment industry insiders
- Monster Factory – Developed by the Toronto-based independent toy design company of the same name. The app allows subscribers to create their own silly, cuddly monsters and send to a friend. After a friend received a real-life plush Monster at her bridal shower, “Aunties” have been creating and sending virtual versions to the new arrival via Facebook