Thousands of applications and millions of downloads are driving Facebook’s economy. Who’s behind it? Hackers.
Unlike MySpace, Facebook has opened up its network to developers, making it easy for them to make money from applications. A full list of third-party applications, designed to allow Facebook users interact with friends and networks, can be found in the official site’s application directory. They range from tools to compare people to applications that allow you to adopt virtual pets.
To witness this economy’s escalation, one only needs to stop by Adonomics (formerly Appaholics). The website, conceived by San Francisco-based programmer Jesse Farmer, provides stock-market-style analyses of Facebook features. Programmers can analyze the value of their applications in advertising dollars, and how it correlates to their applications’ growth.
Once a social networking site exclusively for college students, Facebook opened registration to the general public last year and attracted vast groups of visitors from outside the 18-24 year old age segment. In fact, comScore reported last month the website grew to 26.6 million unique visitors in the U.S. in May 2007, marking an 89 per cent increase versus the same month last year.
Editor’s note: see Facebook security post