Just as you won’t see a “viral video” from a brand in the blockbuster list for this genre, you won’t find any apps from brands in the top Facebook apps list.
As Dirk at News from the Herd notes, it’s about certain kinds of useful when it comes to hitting the sweetspot with Facebook users:
1- Produce addictive but simple to use games that don’t force ad messaging down users throats
2 – Give them a way to organise their lives, and/ or:
3 – Provide them with mildly competitive ‘social comparison’ tools vs their friends.
As Inside Facebook noted, the recent redesign of Facebook shook up the developer leaderboard, bringing the likes of LivingSocial to the fore.
Interesting to see Causes in the top 5 apps out there on Facebook. Reminds me of the excellent Brita “Filter for Good” campaign in the US, to reduce the amount of bottled water being consumed. The Facebook app and the Facebook group for this were just a couple of the parts of the approach.
The brand benefit is direct in this case – but it is a brand behaving like a movement, and benefitting (in terms of awareness) from helping people acknowledge, pass on a call to action around an issue, without having to commit to a great deal of effort. If they want to talk about it more, get involved more they can and Brita will give them a little more data and tools to do so (if they’re smart, which they seem to be).
Dirk asks if brands can ever win in Facebook:
It will be interesting to see if brands manage to make much head-way here, or whether it really is a case of as P&G’s head of interactive said last year, you can’t monetise a space where someone is breaking up with his girlfriend.
It’s a nice, pithy, provocative question. But monetising, advertising, interupting, branding up these spaces are far from the only option for brands. I think that as more brands develop their social web literacy we’ll see them feel more at ease with spaces like Facebook, find their legitimate, useful places in them.
I’m not sure if they will ever be blockbuster app hits that make it to the Appdata leaderboard. I think that should probably not be an objective for a brand. That “big is best” attitude is another one of those hangovers from channel thinking.
: : You can keep an eye on who is winning on Facebook by apps and developers at AppData.