Facebook applications are all the rage... or so say the buzzing bees on Internetlandia. Does that mean your company should develop its own Facebook application? It may be tempting to tap into a social networking site ready to reach about 60 million active users worldwide, but Tim O'Reilly (of O'Reilly Media fame) says your valuable developers' time might best be spent elsewhere; only 45 out of 5,000 applications on Facebook have more than 100,000 active users, and 87% of the application usage goes to 84 apps (many of which are developed by Facebook itself).
O'Reilly says this doesn't necessarily mean Facebook applications are a bad opportunity, but that "a throwaway Facebook app is not the ticket to quick riches." In the end he says the future opportunity doesn't lie in Facebook per se, but rather the development of entirely new applications that utilize the social graph comprised of Facebook users.
Facebook Applications image by b_d_solis [cc, 2.0]