Facebook applications are no longer a new thing, and many users are getting tired of clutter added each time an application is installed. According to Adonomics, 13,677 Facebook applications are now installed. Sites that used to review each new application now require that the application developer pay to avoid being ignored. Many of the applications have only a few users and are really nothing more than recycled versions of other Facebook applications.
In fact, in response to complaints regarding an over abundance of apps on user profile pages, Facebook itself announced a few days ago that a “profile clean-up” tool will be implemented so that users can hide unused applications. Profiles can look cleaner and have a link at the bottom to “Show Extended Profile,” which will allow visitors (with a click) to see the otherwise hidden applications users have running.
While most current applications are focused on a simple survey, game or “poking” friends, we found one business sponsoring an ecommerce application that sells house plans. They seem to indicate that one of their primary goals is to generate more traffic to their website. This is an interesting strategy and could be compared to the SEO organic / paid traffic efforts that plenty of websites engage in.
Facebook offers a relatively cheap method of advertising, and adding an application that provides some interesting value could be an avenue to free marketing in the social networking space. They don’t have an insane number of users yet (1300), but it will be interesting to watch and see if they are successful with this effort. In any event, it’s definitely time for new Facebook applications to do more.