Blog Post

The Facebook after effect: Pleasure & Pain

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

“Every once in a while a platform comes along that allows people to build a completely new application — sometimes even starts new industries,” Marc Zuckerberg, chief executive and founder of Facebook said at the launch of Facebook developer network earlier this week. He might just have added … “and infrastructure problems.”

With 23 million members discovering new toys applications, Facebook is acting like a turbo charger for some start-ups that are playing in Facebook’s walled garden. (Here is the hot list.) There were 65 apps that were launched this past week. There have been reports of start-ups following the launch of their applications on the Facebook are experiencing tremendous strain on their infrastructure and are scrambling to add more capacity. [digg=]

One start-up, which claims to have had its best day ever (using the sign-ups, traffic and growth as metrics), has had to add server capacity twice to keep up with demand that is being generated by the Facebook community, and they are still scrambling to add more capacity, emailing contacts to get some extra servers.

“There have been a few speed bumps for us, but overall there has been strong uptake from Facebook,” says David Hyman, founder and CEO of MOG, a social music start-up based in Berkeley, California, who has seen an increase in the downloads of his Mogomatic application. MOG has over 4000 new users on Facebook.

The early results, despite the ongoing issues are encouraging start-ups to be big on Facebook Platform. “We might build a whole mog parallel universe inside of facebook,” says Hyman. He is not alone. “We’ve had over 5,000 users register today, so that is easily a new record,” says Konstantin Guericke, chief executive of Jaxtr, a Palo Alto-based start-up, that allows you to add voice widgets on your social networking pages. “It is our sense that Facebook is going to do more for us than MySpace.”

While it is early days to see if this effect is permanent or more result of gushing press, one thing is clear – start-ups are happy to endure some pain, just to get a boost in their own subscriber bases.

16 Responses to “The Facebook after effect: Pleasure & Pain”

  1. There is going to be huge adoption from the developer community and new, useful and compelling applications will rise to the surface.

    These new applications will act as a point of gravity to drive the network even larger. When i can live within facebook and satisfy a large portion of my online requirements is when this will become mainstream for people over 25 year old. ;)

    We are rating and reviewing these new facebook applications and widgets at

    Rodney Rumford

  2. Bob Smith

    I would still rather be developing platforms and frameworks to have thousands of users develop with than to be one of those users/developers…

  3. Admin

    That an interesting article, it once again demonstrates how many of the successful startups build on other existing platforms. One of the videos on my blog about the rise of YouTube mentions how YouTube depended on existing social web apps which contributed to YouTube’s success. My blog is at

  4. @realist,

    why do you think they owe us any information on their revenue? where did you find any projections from facebook? they sure would be interesting to see.

  5. realist

    Is facebook launching all this new stuff to distract us from the fact they have given us no update as to how their revenues are doing compared to their own lofty projections?

  6. Facebook should add some quality control around their partners capacity or do something that ensures their users will have a pleasant experience if they use these third party apps/plugins/widgets. Having said that, for most startups these so called ‘problems’ are a dream come true.

  7. That’s the way it often goes with APIs. The whole point of them is to get lots of new people using your stuff…but the potential of this new distribution channel is hard to estimate, and provisioning in advance for the load is even harder.

    I’ve written a few posts on the impact of the Facebook platform launch and how it relates to API infrastructure.