Okay kids if you remember LinkExchange, the web-banner ad swap service that was snapped up by Microsoft back in November 1998 for $250 million, and then left it to languish, raise your hand. Of course, that $250 million investment was recently shut down by Microsoft.
LinkExchange founders are doing pretty well. One of them, Ali Partovi is currently riding the Facebook rocket, thanks to his not-so-new company, iLike (formerly GarageBand), which is often held up as a shining example of The Facebook-effect.
While they were busy scrounging for server-oomph, others were trying to figure out how to make money from all these hot-little Facebook apps that have the entire Valley foaming at the mouth. 30 Boxes team – Narendra Rocherolle, Julie Davidson and Nick Wilder – have launched a new venture called, Fbexchange.
Rocherolle explains to us that it is an “in-app” ad network for the Facebook platform, and the system will allow f8 app owners easily exchange links in order to get more attention and traffic. They can also carve out some impressions for paid-placements instead of just plain vanilla ad-exchanges.
Fbexchange has already signed up apps ranging from Free Gifts to Slide which owns a bunch of Facebook apps including, Top Friends. It seems there is a demand for a service that promotes applications, and app-writers are ready to go to extreme lengths.
It was only yesterday I ranted about All-Facebook-All-The-Time madness that had gripped the valley, at a time when there weren’t any clear signs of the apps being able to make money. Hey with this link-swapping and some carefully planted ads, this is one idea that might work. That is if Facebook allows this network to stay alive and thrive.