Kara Swisher is right about Facebook apps (new Kyte.tv player)

Kara! Kara! Kara!

Kara Swisher SSSSSOOOOO nails what is wrong
with the application developers who are trying to make money over on Facebook.

The other night I was on a panel at the Graphing Social Patterns conference where I helped judge a bunch of Facebook apps.

With each one I asked myself “would I install this?”

The answer with almost all of them is: no. The sad fact, though, is that most people WILL install the stupider apps.

The winners? Three were great, one was really lame.

The Game, by Robert Fan
Judge-O-Rama by Chris Heald
Visual Bookshelf, by Aaron Battalion
Resume, by Joe Suh

Let’s throw out the lame one, the Game, which is a lewd “Hot or Not” app. The others were pretty interesting, though. The Resume app lets you integrate LinkedIn stuff into your Facebook profile. I’m not a fan of LinkedIn, but this app was well done for those of you who are.

If you read books Visual Bookshelf is an awesome way to share your bookshelf with others. Definitely shows a lot of thought and goes way beyond the stupider types of apps.

I have a long list of apps waiting for me. Some are interesting like file sharing, but most are pretty toyish kinds of apps.

I’m really looking forward to the second wave of apps that really do something interesting with the social network of people I’ve added to my Facebook account.

Another problem that Kara doesn’t touch upon is that a lot of these apps simply don’t scale and break for people with thousands of friends.

Looking forward to seeing if Facebook apps improve at the SNAP Summit in San Francisco on October 26.

Oh, and here’s Steve Broback talking about his Facebook Conference, Web Community Forum, up in Seattle on December 5-6, on a walk recently near my house.

Oh #2: Kyte.tv has a new look. I’m going over there today to talk about the changes that are coming to Kyte.tv over the next few weeks. I’m not sure I like this new look. How about you?

UPDATE: I used my Nikon S51C pocket camera to film this video. But Kyte wouldn’t let me upload the high resolution version (said that it was bigger than 50MB, which it couldn’t accept), so you get the small version which makes the player look lame. I’ll push Kyte to increase the limit so we can do more interesting videos.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/61274&embedId=10000581]

34 thoughts on “Kara Swisher is right about Facebook apps (new Kyte.tv player)

  1. Sebastian:
    “especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies.”

    So iLike is the only app you know ?
    iLike is not developed by “private people, not companies” fyi.

    BTW what about it ? Why do you think it does not scale ?

  2. Sebastian:
    “especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies.”

    So iLike is the only app you know ?
    iLike is not developed by “private people, not companies” fyi.

    BTW what about it ? Why do you think it does not scale ?

  3. @Sebastian Moser -
    “What doesn’t scale are the servers of the app developers, or the apps itself, especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies”

    Please give examples to support your claims. Otherwise it is just trash talk.

    let’s talk when you develop one single facebook application yourself.

  4. @Sebastian Moser -
    “What doesn’t scale are the servers of the app developers, or the apps itself, especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies”

    Please give examples to support your claims. Otherwise it is just trash talk.

    let’s talk when you develop one single facebook application yourself.

  5. Robert,

    I actually sent a message to most of my friends telling them I had no interest in being a vampire/zombie or using Superpoke or any of the myriad applications which bombard you with requests to download them.

    I think the music, video and slideshow apps are pretty useful and some of the travel maps are fun as well, but that’s about the extent of it.

    I think at some point I might (for one month) accept and download every single application someone sends me. I wonder how cluttered my homepage would become then?

  6. Robert,

    I actually sent a message to most of my friends telling them I had no interest in being a vampire/zombie or using Superpoke or any of the myriad applications which bombard you with requests to download them.

    I think the music, video and slideshow apps are pretty useful and some of the travel maps are fun as well, but that’s about the extent of it.

    I think at some point I might (for one month) accept and download every single application someone sends me. I wonder how cluttered my homepage would become then?

  7. @Anatoly Lubarsky
    The Facebook platform DOES scale. What doesn’t scale are the servers of the app developers, or the apps itself, especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies.
    And – it doesn’t help if the developers are smart, if the apps are crap. And most of the apps are indeed crap. Of course, crap is a term that needs to be defined.
    Crappy Facebook apps are applications that have no real use and are just another copy of this damn poking/superwall/whatever crap or unfunny games that spam your friends’ news feeds.

  8. @Anatoly Lubarsky
    The Facebook platform DOES scale. What doesn’t scale are the servers of the app developers, or the apps itself, especially when they are popular but developed by private people, not companies.
    And – it doesn’t help if the developers are smart, if the apps are crap. And most of the apps are indeed crap. Of course, crap is a term that needs to be defined.
    Crappy Facebook apps are applications that have no real use and are just another copy of this damn poking/superwall/whatever crap or unfunny games that spam your friends’ news feeds.

  9. Robert, I’m sorry but you don’t understand a lot about Facebook apps. The smartest developers are there currently.

    Just a small thing – apps usually scale, what scales badly is Facebook platform. However it is easier to blame the apps, isn’t it ?

  10. Robert, I’m sorry but you don’t understand a lot about Facebook apps. The smartest developers are there currently.

    Just a small thing – apps usually scale, what scales badly is Facebook platform. However it is easier to blame the apps, isn’t it ?

  11. Robert, clearly early application developers seeking to acquire active users went for the simple funny useless entertaining ideas. They have had a head start and because network effects is the gas pedal on which this market breathes, they are galloping while the laggards remain envious and wishful. But the success in engagement they have had is with teens, students.

    Clearly the older age groups have started to participate, but is it to observe or is it to participate. Fred makes the point in his musings http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2007…..ok-ag.html that participation drops off like a waterfall once the years weather off. Facebook is still predominantly a 15 to 26 year old service. The usage drops off dramatically once people get above 30 years old.

    Research from a recent user study (email me the link if someone finds it, I cant find it) shows that more than half of Facebook users are not currently enrolled in a university or college and that the site’s fastest-growing demo is the 25+ age group. So they are enrolling and observing and wondering. But they are not engaging like the younger ones do. I see that in my peer group and thats what I feel.

    So what does that mean. The 25+ browse more but participating less while 16-25 engage as a predominant social communication and entertainment.

    So what does that say for 3rdparty applications. They are still stupid because active users are 16-25. They will mature if the 25+ generation starts adopting social networking platforms for their social interaction needs. I bet that 25+ generation will do that, they are getting warmed up.. kind of learning the new ways.. isn’t it always like that as we grow older.

    What do you all say?

    sumit
    http://techwag.blogspot.com/

  12. Robert, clearly early application developers seeking to acquire active users went for the simple funny useless entertaining ideas. They have had a head start and because network effects is the gas pedal on which this market breathes, they are galloping while the laggards remain envious and wishful. But the success in engagement they have had is with teens, students.

    Clearly the older age groups have started to participate, but is it to observe or is it to participate. Fred makes the point in his musings http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2007…..ok-ag.html that participation drops off like a waterfall once the years weather off. Facebook is still predominantly a 15 to 26 year old service. The usage drops off dramatically once people get above 30 years old.

    Research from a recent user study (email me the link if someone finds it, I cant find it) shows that more than half of Facebook users are not currently enrolled in a university or college and that the site’s fastest-growing demo is the 25+ age group. So they are enrolling and observing and wondering. But they are not engaging like the younger ones do. I see that in my peer group and thats what I feel.

    So what does that mean. The 25+ browse more but participating less while 16-25 engage as a predominant social communication and entertainment.

    So what does that say for 3rdparty applications. They are still stupid because active users are 16-25. They will mature if the 25+ generation starts adopting social networking platforms for their social interaction needs. I bet that 25+ generation will do that, they are getting warmed up.. kind of learning the new ways.. isn’t it always like that as we grow older.

    What do you all say?

    sumit
    http://techwag.blogspot.com/

  13. The new kyte.tv-design is weird. I expected they’d change their layout to, well, something usable. Instead they took their bad layout and made it look prettier. This doesn’t make the first-visit-experience better and doesn’t make the site as a whole more usable.

  14. The new kyte.tv-design is weird. I expected they’d change their layout to, well, something usable. Instead they took their bad layout and made it look prettier. This doesn’t make the first-visit-experience better and doesn’t make the site as a whole more usable.

  15. Robert, thank you for not including us in the “stupider apps” category. We appreciate it and we agree whole-heartedly: there will be a maturing of apps over time. Thank you so much from promoting our Judge-O-Rama app.

  16. Robert, thank you for not including us in the “stupider apps” category. We appreciate it and we agree whole-heartedly: there will be a maturing of apps over time. Thank you so much from promoting our Judge-O-Rama app.

  17. I have found most Facebook apps less than useful — often “cute” but mostly juvenile.

    One type of application that I would like to see (not even sure if it would be possible) would be some sort of mashup of Skype (with it’s multiparty feature — including Skype 3rd party applications like whiteboard, application sharing) and scheduled or ad hoc multiparty meetings. Sort of a combination of synchronous social networking (which I think Jeff Pulver is mulling these days) and asynchronous networking (which Facebook seems to have a handle on).

    Maybe that is corporately unlikely though — being that Facebook and Ebay/Skype are somewhat competitors. I am not sure if a third party could even approach something like this.

  18. I have found most Facebook apps less than useful — often “cute” but mostly juvenile.

    One type of application that I would like to see (not even sure if it would be possible) would be some sort of mashup of Skype (with it’s multiparty feature — including Skype 3rd party applications like whiteboard, application sharing) and scheduled or ad hoc multiparty meetings. Sort of a combination of synchronous social networking (which I think Jeff Pulver is mulling these days) and asynchronous networking (which Facebook seems to have a handle on).

    Maybe that is corporately unlikely though — being that Facebook and Ebay/Skype are somewhat competitors. I am not sure if a third party could even approach something like this.

  19. I am trying to figure out the new look myself. There are some new features that I like, but not sure about the color scheme. But it’s early. More after a day or so

  20. I am trying to figure out the new look myself. There are some new features that I like, but not sure about the color scheme. But it’s early. More after a day or so

  21. I definitely think that we’re looking at a 1st gen set of apps right now, and the ones that will take off later are going to be far less gimmicky.

    Here’s to hoping FB lifts the 5k friends limit.

    PS. Who is that good looking guy in the Pepsi shirt? ;)

  22. I definitely think that we’re looking at a 1st gen set of apps right now, and the ones that will take off later are going to be far less gimmicky.

    Here’s to hoping FB lifts the 5k friends limit.

    PS. Who is that good looking guy in the Pepsi shirt? ;)

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