Thursday, June 21, 2007

Facebook + ??? = Profit?

Here are a couple of my royalty-based ideas to go along with this post.  If anyone decides to make any money off of these, please give me a share or two in the new company, or some used hardware after it fries from all the traffic, or maybe an all-expenses paid trip for two to Tahiti.

The opportunity to monetize applications was a result of Facebook’s decision to allow developers to display unlimited advertisements. On par with advertising as a source of income, some developers, like myself, have come to prefer the use of affiliate links (finding leads for eBay, Amazon, etc) instead. Part of the reason is that Facebook does not allow developers to embed JavaScript within their code; hence making it difficult to enable Google Adsense for the content. Moreover, as is the case with MySpace, contextual advertising is not targeted enough to earn sizable revenues.

My own application is a mashup between Facebook and Amazon API’s to recommend, share, and comment on books. The “My Favorite Books” application is designed to earn through the 4% profit earned off every successful referral to Amazon. Combine this with Facebook’s 24 million active users and a business model instantly emerges.

Source: » Monetizing Facebook applications | The Social Web | ZDNet.com

Somehow I doubt that people will be buying books through Facebook.  Though Amazon & Facebook should really consider changing names.

My top 10 Facebook money-making ideas:

1. Face-scam - Top of the pyramid.  Every friend dumps $5 into a paypal account.  The 100th friend gets $400.  The person who started gets $100.  The cycle rotates until everyone gets paid.  (sounds a bit shady to me, and probably illegal in most states, but hey!)

2. Face-buster - Hit and Miss Blackjack - A round-robin game of blackjack among friends, similar to poking but with cards instead of pokes. (Online gambling is illegal in the States too, so this one probably will only work for us Canucks.)

3. Face-Am-Away - Purchase products and services at a "discount" and refer your friends. (See #1)

4. Face-Pizza - Somehow figure out how to distribute pizza through Facebook, at $1/slice. (I see a lot of fake pizza orders getting sent to your friends.  Who ordered extra anchovies?)

5. Face-off - Create a mirror site that you can access from behind those pesky work firewalls, for only $4.99 for the first month ($29.95 afterwards)

6. Face-squatter - Register all the good names for yourself and auction them off to their rightful owners. (William H. Gates taken yet?  How about Mie Cro Soft?)

7. Face-sitter - Get bonded individuals to manage your Facebook account for you, to keep on the ball with pokes and your wall, and to scan your friends walls for juicy gossip.

8. Face-mask - Build an app that blacks out all those pesky tagged pictures of you all hammered in compromising positions.

9. Face-bookie - Bet on the horses or when Paris Hilton will be released from prison.

10. Face-it - Let's you buy printed photos of you and your friends.

I know this is supposed to be 10, but I had to include

11. Face-mail -  See #10 + mail the photos to your friends with standard blackmail letter cut out of newspaper letters, maybe with a slice of pizza.

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