Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Facebook app monetization is better than FriendFeed monetization ever was

There was a blog post that I wanted to write for months, but I never got around to doing it - even when I knew that I had to stock up a bunch of posts in this blog for vacation time. Well, now it's almost too late to write the post - the L.A. Times covered the topic - but I'll write it anyway.

As some of you know, I've acquired an addiction to the Facebook application Farm Town, an application that allows you to earn virtual coins by farming a virtual farm and harvesting and selling the crops. You can then use these virtual coins to buy seed, fences, buildings, and all sorts of stuff.

But what if your crop harvests don't provide enough money to support your farming lifestyle? Well, Farm Town has a solution for that:

Yes, you can use REAL money to buy VIRTUAL money. Talk about making something out of nothing.

Well, before I got a chance to share this fact, the Los Angeles Times wrote an entire article about the general phenomenon. It turns out that one billion dollars will be spent on virtual goods in 2009.

A few months ago when I was reflecting on this phenomenon, I thought to myself: If the Facebook applications have a monetization plan (and presumably Facebook gets a cut of their revenue), then why can't a service like FriendFeed have a monetization plan?

Well, I waited too long to write this post, and FriendFeed displayed its monetization plan - sell the company and its employees to Facebook.
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