Facebook is the number one social networking site with over 320 million users and growing daily. A large part of the networking site is the uiuc self service that users have created. Applications on Facebook can be anything from quizzes, shopping, virtual gifts, to massive role-playing games. Do not be discouraged when you see the complexity of Mafia Wars and FarmTown and wonder how you will ever be able to compete with them. Many users use a number of applications daily, and your goal is to make your application one of them.
1. What kind of application do I want to build?
While it may seem like every idea you have for an application already exists, your goal is to put your own twist on the idea to make it unique. Do you want your application to offer a service such as a Job Finder application? How about an application that will offer entertainment such as a role-playing game?
2. How am I going to build the application?
There are many guides available for building a Facebook application, but unless you have experience in programming the task can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many people ready to be hired help make your idea into a viable application. While it can be costly to have a custom application built it will help ensure uniqueness and can pay off. Other options include buying a turnkey script. These scripts are sold to the general public so can be less unique. However, many offer the ability to be fully customized bringing that uniqueness back. Buying a turnkey script is a quick and affordable way to get started. Also take into consideration that all applications will require a domain name and web hosting.
3. How am I going to get users to use the application?
Upon completion of your script it is time to get users. Hopefully, during the application creation process how to get users was thought about in advance. The best way to get users is through viral features built into your application. A feature can be when a user performs an action (takes a quiz and gets the results, levels up in a role-playing game, posts a resume on a job app, etc) the application takes that action and posts it to their Facebook wall for everyone to see. This will grow awareness of your application as it allows all friends to see what you are doing and they too will use the application and when they do an action it will also be published to their wall for even more people to see. All applications can have an Invite Friends option built in to allow users to send an invitation to friends to check out your application. Besides viral features upon reaching 10 active users the application can be submitted to Facebook’s Application Directory. All these methods of obtaining users are free.
4. How do I make money with the application?
Now that you have an application and the users are increasing it is time to make money from your hard work. The ways of making money can vary depending on your application. If you have a classified, job listing, or any other service application you can charge a fee to have the listed service featured. Many role-playing game applications have premium features that allow players that spend money to have an edge over the free players. One of the best ways to earn cash is through the placement of ads. This can be applied to all applications regardless of the type. The placement of banners also allows you to earn from players who never have a desire for any premium services. Two of the best ad placement services are Google AdSense and RockYou Ads.
Now that your application is earning you money maintenance is still required to keep your current users engaged and coming back. Change the content to keep things new. You also always want to be active in growing your user base.