Facebook has addressed the monetization of Facebook Platform for people building applications into businesses. They've set up some new pages to help people share ideas with other developers on how to get the most out of their apps. Among the pages are:
- A brief overview of how to think about building a business, and commonly found business models on Facebook Platform .
- A list of providers to help you - ad networks, payment providers, and analytics companies.
- Articles written by bloggers and the press.
Speaking of ad networks, Facebook is testing an in-house one right now. Kelly Winters writes at the Facebook Developer Blog:
We are always internally exploring different ways we can directly help you monetize better. Starting today you may notice a few applications occasionally serving Facebook Ads directly in their canvas pages as a part of a small alpha test. We will use the results of this test and other tests that we do to determine the best ways we can help you monetize. For this initial test we picked a few developers that had a variety of different user bases and application types to give us the kind of data we need. We will examine the results to decide whether to open up the program to more developers in the future.
The testing of such a network is not entirely surprising. "The move has been expected for some time by companies that have built large advertising networks within the Facebook Platform ecosystem," says Inside Facebook's Justin Smith.
"Companies like SocialMedia, RockYou, AdParlor, AOL’s Advertising.com, SocialCash, Sometrics, Adknowledge, Rubicon Project, VideoEgg, Google’s AdSense, and other ad networks have been serving app developers since the Platform launched," he adds. "Others, like Super Rewards and Offerpal, manage networks of offers for developers which generally pay on a CPA basis."
With much more focus on monetization now than in previous times, Facebook was probably very smart to change their Terms of Service back after the controversial edits that gave Facebook ownership to all content. As far as monetizing apps, and turning them into businesses, this is a very interesting phenomenon that will likely really take off in the near future, particularly as more mobile devices get deeper into open application-based models.