The Internet Giveth, Facebook Taketh

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I’ve received a bunch of comments recently from folks who are getting more email traffic on Facebook than off it. While you can send email from literally anywhere these days to any email account…people enjoy doing it on FB.

The same can be said for a number of web apps – you can do just about anything in the Web 2.0 arena on a standalone website or you can grab the apps on FB and do it there. The growth stats, courtesy of Appaholic, of many such apps on FB (versus what insiders are garnering) about growth off FB says one thing – seize the moment and throw your app over the fence into the FB garden of Eden.

The buzz around Facebook continues to build and as Richard McManus points out many startups have changed their business plans to focus on utilizing the Facebook platform to spread their applications among the social network’s 30 million users.

So my thesis is that at the moment FB is like a giant vortex – sucking in developers building apps, FB users playing on apps on the platform rather than out on the open Internet….and hence the title of this post: The Internet Giveth, Facebook Taketh.

Supporting this thesis, FB has acquired Parakey, a Web OS (operating system) company that enables its users to store and share data on the web. This acquisition will give FB users one less reason to wander beyond FB’s walls.

I am cautioning entrepreneurs that right now we are in a many to one scenario with FB. Many apps for one platform. It’s only a matter of time and there will be a plethora of similar platforms that are either as open or, preferably, more open than FB. Make sure you are able to transition to a many to many strategy and do not get locked into building apps only for Facebook.

The takeaway: seize the FB moment and grow your user base, but keep an eye on going many to many.

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