Talking about Facebook with Facebook at the SNAP Summit
How will we make money on Facebook, and what are the best techniques for making sticky applications? Facebook's Ami Vora discusses.
Facebook's Senior Platform Manager Ami Vora took the stage at this morning's SNAP Summit in San Francisco to talk about "the state of the platform" from Facebook's perspective. Besides a rehash of the social graph spiel from the launch of the applications platform earlier this year, several interesting numbers were thrown around, including one that noted that 1 in 4 people in Toronto are on Facebook, and that each Facebook user turns about 50 pages a day. The most impressive, however, is that 85 percent of users on Facebook have added at least one application to their profiles since the launch of Facebook applications in late May.
Since the SNAP Summit is aimed mainly at Facebook developers, Vora went on to discuss some of the things that they've seen "work" for app creators from Facebook's point of view. "Every time you touch the user, think about how you're adding value to them," Vora said. She also noted that giving users interaction with buddies, integrating your app with Facebook's tools, and adding privacy controls will make an app stickier even to cautious users. In the previous panel consisting of the heads of several successful Facebook app creators from RockYou, Grow-a-Gift, and Graffiti, the big buzzword was "virility," and Vora noted that a big part of developers' successes thus far have been utilizing the tools that Facebook had provided to help share an app with their friends.
Following her presentation, Vora fielded several questions from the audience, ranging from Facebook's internal party plans following this week's Microsoft investment announcement, to adding a system for developers to integrate micropayments into their apps--something that, according to Vora, Facebook is "thinking about," but not implementing anytime soon.
An audience member also asked about what Facebook views to be its biggest competitors. Vora nixed mentioning any other social networks (most notably MySpace) in place of saying that other forms of media are Facebook's biggest foes, including TV, radio, and "petting your dog." Surprisingly, she answered more questions than Zuckerberg, who just last week at the Web 2.0 Summit managed to spend nearly half an hour talking to Federated Media's John Battelle without divulging anything that hadn't been said in the past five months.