Building Applications in Facebook
Facebook offers a great medium for building relevant applications and is one of the reasons that it has maintained its current numbers of subscribers. We have built an application called Get Creative which is a database of Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising ideas. It is currently in beta testing on Facebook but the philosophy behind it is that you can search for ideas, add your own and comment on other peoples contributions to give them further life. Launched internally we have found that it helps people to start thinking more creatively and watching what trends, ideas and initiatives are happening all around them. It was born out of frustration of thinking up great ideas which disappeared into the far recesses of your mind before you could full capture them. It will be an interesting test of collaboration amongst the public relations, marketing and advertising sectors.
Some lessons from the exercise:
– Get a good developer on board
– Test as many other applications as you can to see what you like and what works well
– Keep it as simple as possible
– Keep data entry down to a minimum of time
– Be aware of the external hosting requirements
– Get a core group to test the application and populate
– If people fail or run into problems at early stages its harder to get them to engage later so make sure most bugs are eliminated early
– Think through how the application will look and how the person will interact with it and draw up a information flow
– Assume that it needs to be pretty intuitive as more people will not have the patience to read long rules and instructions
– Become an evangalist for it
We hope to roll out more broadly through Facebook in the next week or so.
Look out for the Irish Times unofficial Facebook application and the Silicon Republic one which is being tested.