Thoughts On FacebookCampToronto2

I attended FacebookCampToronto2 tonight at Toronto’s wonderful MaRS building. Surprisingly, much of the content was marketing-related, which was a pleasant surprise – I expected it to be very technical.

I live-blogged the event on Twitter, but in hindsight here are a few of the moments that stood out for me:

  • Roy Pereira from Refresh Partners:
    • There are over 5,500 approved Facebook applications
    • 84 apps account for 90% of usage
    • Out of the 30 cities with the most Facebook users, 11 are in Canada
  • Ami Vora from Facebook:
    • Facebook gets roughly 250,000 new users per day – that’s roughly a 3% increase daily
    • Total users currently stand at about 45 million
    • The site serves up an average of 50 pages per user per day, making it the sixth most trafficked site on the web
    • Roughly 100 apps are added per day, and about 80% of users have added at least one application
    • Facebook’s photo application gets more traffic than all the other major photo sites combined
    • 50% of users return to the site daily
    • Their event product sees almost three times as many page views as Evite
    • Developers should think of privacy as an asset that enables people to surf in comfort, not as a restriction
    • This was a example of how PowerPoint should be used – uncluttered slides, great use of images, minimal text
  • Jesse Hirsh
    • “Are we in the early stages of a social operating system?”
    • Many top applications emerged early on and received ‘first-past-the-post’ momentum
    • Five characteristics of the top applications:
      • Original
      • Infectious – vampires, pirates, zombies etc
      • Engaging – provide a semi-public stage for users – allow crowd-sourcing, creativity, simple polling/surveys etc
      • Integrate with existing content – e.g. Simpsons avatars
      • Empowering – ratings, reviews, favourites
  • Greg Thomson
    • Success in a Facebook app requires about 10,000 active users, or about 250,000 installs
    • He estimates that each active user is worth about $3.00 per year
    • 60% of his users generate about 90% of his revenue. 30% don’t generate any
  • We saw demos on three cool apps:
    • Dogbook / Catbook (Geoffrey B. Roche)
    • WishList (Bogdan Arsenie)
    • DreamBook (Phil Tucker)

A couple of my thoughts on the evening:

  1. Thanks to Roy Pereira, Colin Smillie, and Andrew Cherwenka for organizing the event
  2. This was incredible value for attendees. For, well, nothing, we got a great set of presentations. Facebook, of course, isn’t the one-shot cure to all our problems, but I’m sure everyone was able to take away a few nuggets
  3. Don’t try to pass off an unsuccessful project as a case study. One presenter tried to but got called on it
  4. Why create an app that requires an entire site within Facebook? Why not do it outside and leverage that?
  5. Facebook is a social network. If you want to make use of it, make sure you work with the ‘social’ aspect and don’t ignore it
  6. A timely tweet (thanks to Brian Solis) of a Jason Calcanis quote this evening says it all – once again, for the vast majority these are tactics and not strategies:

“If you’re building your business on Facebook only, you’re an idiot”

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