It seems like this question is being kicked around more and more lately. If you're active online at all, you've seen people talk about it. If you've been to any web conferences, you've heard people talk about it. If you're in any type of social media, you've caught everything you might want to know. It seems like every group, organization, and everyone who dreams of social media success is asking…
So… is Facebook good for your business?
Not the answer you expected huh? You thought that as a PHP developer active in the space, a connector who's happily introducing friends and colleagues, and someone who's neck deep in social media would say the exact opposite…. well, not quite.
There are many scenarios and business for which a Facebook Application just doesn't make sense. For example, if you run a neighborhood bar with a group of local regulars, having a one doesn't make much sense. If you run a basic news site or blog, syndicating your content to Facebook doesn't require your own app. Don't waste your time.
A Facebook App tends to make the most sense to do something completely meaningless but interesting (eg. Friends Density), something silly (eg. Movie), or something that engages your community and keeps them coming back (eg. New York Times Quiz). While only the third is obviously associated with a commercial entity, each one has the ability to use the available Facebook data to do something interesting…
So am I a hypocrite with WhyGoSolo?
Well, maybe… but I hope not. 😉
WhyGoSolo itself is all about connecting with other people. Odds are that most are going to be friends, associates, and colleagues that you're already familiar with and want to spend a bit of time with. It could be business networking over coffee, sharing some free tickets that you won, or even having a familiar face to go to that networking event with. It doesn't matter.
So a Facebook App makes perfect sense for us. We want people to let their friends know what they're up to – or what they'd like to be up to – and then go do it. If you see our App or how it announces things in the newsfeed, you'll see that's our goal. Let your friends know what you're up to… and then get out of your/their way.
If you're still interested in getting a Facebook Application online, I suggest you talk to Zvi Band. He worked with us to flesh out the spec and then built the first version of the WhyGoSolo App. Hopefully he'll handle the future versions as our vision grows.